Search

Huge energy projects could ‘scar’ countryside and cause major disruption

PUBLISHED: 06:00 28 May 2018

Sizewell A and Sizewell B nuclear power plants - EDF hopes to have Sizewell C sitting alongside Picture: SU ANDERSON

Sizewell A and Sizewell B nuclear power plants - EDF hopes to have Sizewell C sitting alongside Picture: SU ANDERSON

Archant

Communities in east Suffolk have launched a bid for major Government compensation to help them cope with plans for a number of huge energy projects which opponents say will “desecrate” the countryside.

The reactor dome of Sizewell B nuclear power station. The area could soon be generating 25% of the UK's electricity. Picture: CHRIS RADBURN/PA WIRE The reactor dome of Sizewell B nuclear power station. The area could soon be generating 25% of the UK's electricity. Picture: CHRIS RADBURN/PA WIRE

While plans continue to progress for Sizewell C, the Leiston area is now also facing creation of a 30-acre substation complex for Scottish Power’s next two windfarms, and also two major industrial-scale National Grid projects called Nautilus and Eurolink to share power with Belgium and Holland.

People living in the area – who have now formed an action group to fight the plans – say they did not know its designation as an “energy hub” would lead to such “disruption, damage and destruction”, including up to 10km of trenches for power cables.

Suffolk Coastal council says it anticipates “five or six big structures” being required in the Leiston/Sizewell area which will bring huge benefits to the UK through economic development, but have major impacts on protected landscape, wildlife habitat, roads, tourism and communities.

Villagers in Friston are the latest to find themselves facing problems with Scottish Power Rewnewables having identified land known as Zone 7 between the village and the south-west of Leiston for its substation for East Anglia ONE North and East Anglia TWO offshore windfarms

A spokesman for the new residents’ action group at Friston, Knodishall and Aldringham said as well as the substation there would be a need for 10km of cables from Sizewell to Friston, meaning a trench 50m wide and two metres deep “scarring the landscape”.

He said: “This is a completely unnecessary desecration of the East Suffolk countryside which will cause disruption and worry to residents for many years and damage the local

economy. The countryside and residents of East Suffolk are being sacrificed.”

The group wants the power projects to be coordinated and infrastructure to be placed together either at Sizewell or Bramford, where grid connectors are for the other windfarms.

At Leiston there is also concern about the cumulative impact of the project.

Town councillor Sammy Betson said: “If this is done on a piecemeal basis we could see a big part of east Suffolk appear as an industrial estate with great big warehousing on it.”

ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) said it had decided on Zone 7 as the “preferable option” after extensive analysis of a wide range of issues.

The company had also undertaken a “high level landscape and visual impact assessment” which concluded that Zone 7 affected fewer parts of the landscape and was less visual compared with other options and benefitted from substantial screening from existing woodland.

The company’s said: “In addition, there are notable opportunities for further effective mitigation in the form of new woodland planting.”

The company had to take a balanced view toward site selection, using advice of our industry legal advisors who draw on National Planning Guidance, technical advisors and its our own significant project experience.

Public information days and consultation on the site selection will take place in June and July.

Huge energy projects planned for Suffolk’s coast will mean that 25% of the country’s electricity supply will eventually be coming through the Sizewell area.

Head of planning and coastal manager at Suffolk Coastal council, Philip Ridley told councillors that “appropriate compensation” would be sought from Government – particularly to deal with the demands on the area’s infrastructure and mitigate the impact.

Chairman of the council’s Sizewell C task group, Geoff Holdcroft said the authority was well aware of the situation and was in discussion with MPs Therese Coffey and Dan Poulter and endeavouring to attract the attention of Government ministers to the issues.

He said it was “essential for the various parties to work in concert and to have an effective sequence of work that delivered the projects with minimum impact and maximum benefit”.

Efforts were being made to encourage joint working.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Coastal Scene visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Coastal Scene staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Coastal Scene account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other popular content

Rail services on the Great Eastern Main Line are back to normal today after a track fault on the approach to Liverpool Street station caused disruption last week.

Controversial plans to award councillors at two Suffolk authorities an allowance rise of 25% upwards could be delayed until next year, if opposition proposals go through.

A book of rare picture postcards and prints of Elmswell over the past 100 years has helped to raise more than £1,200 for the village’s library.

Forecasters have predicted some warmer weather in the region this week – and temperatures could hit the 26C (78F) mark on Wednesday.

Local weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 17°C

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Coastal Scene weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24