Latest: National Grid Ventures launch Community Engagement sessions for the Nautilus Interconnector project from Belgium, due for connection at Friston hub.
The Examination for EA1N and EA2 ended 6/7/21 and recommendations sent to the Secretary of State Rt Hon Kwasi Karteng for his final decision, due 6/1/22 (see latest update below).
IMPORTANT NEXT STEPS
Please see links below to see who to contact with your concerns re: the multitude of environmentally damaging (ecocidal) projects planned for the Heritage Coast
On the 2/11/21 the SoS issued a consultation letter requesting further information from the applicant and other interested parties, to reply by 30/11/21. Today this consultation deadline has now been extended to 31/1/22 with a final decision by the S0S expected 31st March 2022.
The explanatory letter from the SoS can be viewed here: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/...
A decision on this project will now be 6 months later than originally planned. The SoS has already agreed to the Norfolk windfarms to proceed following a call for a judicial review, having noted the concerns of campaigners but ruled that National need is overrules these concerns. This is an unfortunate outcome for the Norfolk groups and whilst this is disappointing, a number of key points made by Save Our Sandlings, Substation Action, Save East Suffolk and Suffolk Energy Action Solutions may carry more weight to the arguments, especially as the these projects directly impact AONB, SSSI and Environmentally Sensitive Areas. Goto the Planning Inspectorate websites: - EA1N & EA2 for all the latest information.
New video taken from a microlight over the Bawdsey to Ipswich cable route.
A taste of what is to come for Thorpeness to Friston
SAVE OUR SANDLINGS (SOS)
THE ENGLISH LANDSCAPES THAT WE MUST NOT LOSE
There are currently 7 Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) planned or indicated to occur in the immediate Sizewell Area of Suffolk. Scottish Power Renewables plan to build two new windfarms in the North Sea off the Suffolk Coast. As a first stage they need permission to industrialise a large area for a complex of at least 3 substations – covering 30 acres with buildings at a height of 21 metres and the similar acreage for a lorry park etc.
Logically they should use a brownfield site (there are possible sites on the Thames Estuary, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft etc) but instead they are considering areas of open countryside. Grove Wood, Friston has been selected as the site for substations, connected to cable landfall at Thorpeness via an 11 Km 64 m wide cable trench corridor through the delicate East Suffolk Coast & Heaths. This site is not only beautiful it is also of great environmental significance; well known to tourists, birdwatchers and walkers who follow the Sandlings Way.
In addition to these projects National Grid Ventures are planning to bring 2 cables from Europe, Nautilus and Euroconnector, also requiring 2 further massive substations in the Friston area with cable landfall also in the Thorpeness area. The existing Greater Gabbard and Galloper windfarms, which by comparison, small substations close to the Sizewell coast have also indicated they wish to expand their operations with further offshore turbines and associated new substations. National Grid have further announced 2 interconnector cables SCD1 and SCD2 from the new substation to run subsea to Kent, requiring yet more cable trenching across the Sandlings area.
The 8th NSIP is from EdF in the final stages of consultation wishing to build a twin nuclear reactor Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station. This project will take at least 12 years to complete. The other 7 projects will take place concurrently with Sizewell and each other with differing start times and durations. These projects present a terrible burden upon the local communities and will impact upon tourism and visitor numbers to the area
STOP PRESS. There are plans to ramp up the offshore windfarm build programme and Suffolk East Coast is a likely prime site to locate a good proportion of the windfarms proposed. Whilst energy from renewables is a good thing, we must ensure the land-based infrastructure is built on industrial and brownfield sites. Too much precious greenfield space have been lost to developments and dramatically changed by the renewable industry to date.
SOS was started to demonstrate our dismay at these plans that have disastrous national, regional and local impacts far outweighing any assessment of so-called national need. We believe that the additional SPR Consultation 3.5 to now include ‘Broom Covert, Sizewell’ AONB site failed to follow correct statutory procedure and despite having very few weeks to provide public feedback we are pleased the decision to not allow any development at Broom Covert was reached. We are very concerned of the lack of oversight of the cumulative impacts of these 7 projects, and we cannot allow these projects to proceed unchecked; there is no regard for the damage and distress this causes to communities, the wildlife and environment, and the vitally important tourist industry.
Visitors come to the area to enjoy the peace, tranquillity, large open spaces, fresh air and the feeling of escape and being 'off-grid'. These 8 projects, and any future energy projects will change these qualities for ever.
SOS will continue challenging developers, councils and government to take proper due regard of local communities health and well being and protect our precious landscape and preserve those qualities that make the Suffolk Heritage Coast so special.
There are alternatives to destroying greenfield sites which are not being fully explored and SOS is campaigning for these alternatives to be given proper examination. Why is an offshore ring main not being considered?
This makes so much sense and will stop more land being swallowed up with 30 acre substations.
We fully support Renewable Energies and Nuclear Power industries. We are asking for sensible and sensitive development on Brownfield sites and for proper oversight and control of the cumulative impacts these projects cause.
No matter where you live, if you feel you could add your personal voice of dismay then please visit
'How You Can Help' to review options. (you must include a valid postal address)
Watch a short factual YouTube video by Julia Blackburn here
Indicative cable route from Thorpeness to Friston
Grove Wood Friston
Thorpeness Cliffs & cable landfall site
LOCAL, REGIONAL & NATIONAL IMPACTS
The construction of several major projects will have a detrimental affect to important natural habitat in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The well being of communities will be severely affected during and after construction. This proposal will result in the loss of public land, popular with naturalists, dog walkers and tourists as well as a severe increase in traffic on an already busy road.
DESTRUCTION OF IMPORTANT HABITAT:
The route of the cable trenches passes close to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and follows the perimeter of a Sensitive Protected Area. A number of footpaths and bridleways will be crossed and potentially closed during trenching activity taking place in adjacent fields. Local bird and wildlife will be disturbed and disrupted during the minimum 13 years of construction all these projects will take.
The proposed buildings at Friston Grove Wood will be 18 metres high – visible from many fields away. Local tree planting and landscaping only disguises this development from very close viewpoints
The proposed primary access route to the Thorpeness site and Sizewell to Aldringham cable route is the B1122 and Lovers Lane / Sizewell Gap Road, passing close to Leiston Common, and area beloved by local dog walkers, cyclists, horse riders and runners. Birdwatchers combine visits here with Minsmere. to see, listen to, and photograph our wonderful birdlife; We have a great number of nesting common European Skylarks. Sandy Lane is the main non-vehicular historical route from Leiston to Sizewell without going along the pavements or busy roads – the only easy route to do this. Crossing Lovers Lane and avoiding all the heavy lorries will become unsafe for mothers will children and those with reduced mobility.
LOCAL PEOPLE DIRECTLY AFFECTED
Residents along the cable route and at the Cable Landfall at Thorpeness and substations site at Friston will be subjected to constant noise, dust, vibration and light pollution for the length of the project. Residents close to Horizontal Directional Drilling activities will be subject to 24 hour working with accompanying vibration and noise from power packs and operational and security lighting obliterating Suffolk's treasured dark skies. Each project takes up to 4 years to complete. SPR hope to run both projects in parallel, but may be forced to run them sequentially leading to 8 years of disruption
Sizewell C will take a minimum of 12 years to complete, with up to 1500 lorry movements a day at peak time, and with several thousand construction workers on site. An workers accommodation block is planned as well as a caravan park in areas of exceptional natural beauty, as well as may daily trains bringing aggregates to the project. A marine led strategy has been abandoned in favour of a rail or road schemes. This will require new roads to be built or new rail tracks through the Suffolk countryside. Whilst new roads will provide a future legacy, the rail lines will be removed at the completion of the project, having scarred the landscape.
The substations will not provide local jobs after the construction phase, their presence will put local jobs at risk.
Noise, fumes, vibration and light pollution for an extended period during and after construction. There are a number of homes within 100 metres of project activities.
Further overload of already busy roads and potential chaos if Sizewell C is built. The local road network is at breaking point and further increase in heavy vehicles and personal transport will cause further disruption to local residents entering and leaving their properties.
Sizewell B Relocated Facilities Planning Application DC/19/1637/FUL
This application has resulted in Coronation wood being destroyed to make way for building relocation for Sizewell C. This wood was planted as mitigation for Sizewell A as a noise and visual impact barrier. It also formed part of the visual and noise mitigation for the planning application for Sizewell B dry fuel store built 2016
Coronation Wood provided habitat and refuge for bats and a number of birds and mammals. Sadly no more!
Please also see Substation Action - Save East Suffolk (SASES) and Suffolk Energy Action Solutions (SEAS) for further information about the proposed site of the substations
Sandy Lane, crossing over Lover’s Lane from Valley Road, Leiston – one side of the proposed site
TOURISM and HOSPITALITY:
Aldeburgh, Thorpeness and the communities directly surrounding the propsed site and cable routes depend greatly on tourism. The tourism industry in this AONB is worth £250,000,000 annually and supports 4,655 jobs. This stands to be desecrated by this development and those linked to it. Sandlings Way Coastal path, popular with birders, hikers and locals runs alongside the proposed site.
The proposed development runs straight through important sandling and heathland habitat next to an AONB running along the Suffolk coastline. Wildlife corridors would be seriously threatened, as would the proposed Reptile Receptor Site which is on the Broom Covert land. The Sandlings area is home to nesting European Skylarks, Nightingales, Nightjars, Tawny Owls, Barn Owls, Buzzards, Transitory Red Deer, Muntjak deer as well as numerous butterflies, dragonflies and a plethors of mini-beasts, a valuable food source.
Sadly this proposed development stands to set a dangerous precedent country wide. If developments of this magnitude are allowed next to Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Areas of Important National Heritage and are not protected ,then it will give way to increasing development in many other supposedly protected areas nationwide.
All lovers of the English Landscape will be alarmed at the creeping industrialisation
of this land, a buffer zone between Sizewell and Leiston..
These are Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP). Allowing Industrialisation of land close to AONB land in favour of Renewable Energy Infrastructure sends the message that access to power is ironically more important than the environment or the wellbeing of local communities. Development at Grove Wood, Friston will create a precedent that greenfield sites can be devloped when there are suitable alternative brownfield sites available, and will lead to the desecration of the English Countryside that many organisations were founded to protect. Other projects in different places will follow on very quickly.
Heathland is an important declining habitat. Books about it are ‘In Search of Heathland’ by Lee Chadwick (written at Leiston Common) and Monteith Ogilvy’s ’Field Observations on British Birds’ mentions the rare stone curlew nesting at Broom Covert – these are now back at Leiston Common. Minsmere Nature Reserve & SSSIs are located close by and support many other nationally important species.
There is no clear Government strategy for the development and expansion of renewable energy countrywide. No clear guidelines, criteria or restrictions for energy companies to follow when selecting new sites. This leaves large private companies with all the power to make decisions based purely on what makes most economical sense to them with little regard for environmental or social impacts of their actions. We call for a more cohesive plan and co-ordinated oversight of the impact of multiple projects by Central Government that deals with our future energy needs without the destruction of our national heritage and rural communities.
Rural communities are treated as collateral damage in the name of National need.
how can you help?
Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk
favoured the development of Broom Covert as the
'Lesser of two evils'
We disagreed with this statement and fought and won saving this wonderful AONB.
We must now continue to campaign for future developments to be on
brownfield sites, and protect our remaining special Coast and Heaths areas.
Please send your comments to:
East Suffolk Council, East Suffolk House, Station Road, Melton, Woodbridge IP12 1RT OR
email@example.com (Deputy Leader)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Snr Energy Projects officer, Energy Team)
email@example.com (Aldeburgh & Leiston ward)
Suffolk County Council at Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX OR
firstname.lastname@example.org (Dep. Ldr., cabinet member for Environment )
Suffolk Coastal MP:
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:
Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:
Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Gov't
Minister of State for Energy:
Suffolk Coast & Heath AONB
Leiston Town Council
Response from our MP Dr. Therese Coffey
Article in East Anglian Daily Times by Andrew Hirst
Article in East Anglian Daily Times by
Fiona Cairns, Suffolk Preservation Society
Impact of Wind Energy on Wildlife and the Environment
Report by Global Warming Policy Foundation
You don't have to be local to send in feedback
Walkers, cyclists, visitors and tourists all are valid if you include a valid postal address.
It doesn’t matter what you say or how you say it, but please express your own views.
Ask for a return receipt as evidence they received your email
Other campaign groups
Suffolk Energy Action Solution (SEAS) campaign group website
You can also still email Scottish Power for more information
(these are two substations right next to each other on the same site)
(Save copies of emails for future use during the planning stage should the project proceed this far)
Next round on consultations start 16 Feb 2019
Please support Save Our Sandlings with a donation to help fund our campaign media expenses and printing costs. We also will be designing and producing footpath maps for visitors to the Sandlings Way
Please send donations to: Save Our Sandlings, 3 Halfway Houses, Sizewell, IP16 4TS
or direct to group Bank a/c 63455491 20-16-12
Places to visit and see