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Councils remain deeply concerned about the impact of coastal energy projects

Posted by on 1 March 2019 | Comments

Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council are continuing to raise serious concerns around plans for windfarm projects proposed by ScottishPower Renewables, and the lack of coordination with other energy projects proposed on the coast.

Both authorities continue to support the principle of offshore wind to reduce carbon emissions and provide significant economic benefits in the county and the UK, but have made it clear that this should not be achieved at any cost to Suffolk.

Reports have been jointly written and will be presented at each authority’s upcoming Cabinet meetings, in response to ScottishPower Renewables proposals for the East Anglia Offshore Windfarms One (North) and Two. They contain recommendations of co-ordinated actions to protect Suffolk’s coastline.

The reports contain over 100 points, covering a wide range of concerns about the East Anglia Offshore Windfarms One (North) and Two. These range from the impact on our land and seascapes, to the Government’s role in managing a variety of projects on Suffolk’s coast.

Councillor Geoff Holdcroft, Suffolk Coastal District Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic Development, said:

“Whilst, these large windfarms greatly benefit the country as a whole and will undoubtedly have some benefit to the wider Suffolk economy through new jobs and the supply chain, we do not want to see that happening at the expense of our fragile, unique landscape and established local communities.

We stand shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues at Suffolk County Council and will continue to raise our huge raft of concerns about these windfarm projects. We will provide our joint response to this current consultation phase and at every opportunity in the future.

I want to assure residents in our coastal communities that we will continue to do everything possible to protect our heritage and the scenery that we hold so dear.”

Councillor Richard Rout, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection at Suffolk County Council, said:

“It is estimated that these windfarm projects, along with other significant developments such as Sizewell C, could see up to 30% of the UK’s energy delivered through Suffolk. However, there are many considerations which we continue to discuss with ScottishPower Renewables and lobby Government about.

For example, at a national level, we believe that the Government needs to take a clear leadership role to develop a more strategic view on all energy projects on and off the Suffolk coast. Considering each one in isolation does not seem to make sense and increases the environmental impact and the impact on local communities.

At a local level, there are many issues and we maintain that siting an onshore substation at Friston is not the right location.

I would like to thank our local County and District councillors, who are doing an excellent job listening to their communities and contributing to these plans.”

ScottishPower Renewables Phase 4 Consultation on the proposed East Anglia ONE North offshore windfarm project will run until 26 March 2019.

This consultation phase is based around a draft Environmental Statement which sets out the proposed infrastructure and its potential impacts, taking into account the environmental, social and economic effects of the project and the mitigation measures proposed to reduce impacts.

Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council encourage you to take this opportunity to have your say.