GENERAL ELECTION | SUFFOLK COASTAL CANDIDATES
WHERE DO OUR LOCAL CANDIDATES STAND WHEN IT COMES TO SUFFOLK’S PROPOSED ENERGY DEVELOPMENTS?
SASES have asked each candidate to provide their views on Scottish Power’s proposed wind farms known as EA1N & EA2. It is now clear that each project requires massive ‘onshore’ development, including huge permanent industrial buildings and equipment to connect these wind farms to the electricity grid. Scottish Power wants to site substations next to Friston village just a few hundred metres from homes.
The 10km proposed cable route alone will dig up a 60+m wide trench across the AONB from Thorpeness to Friston, closing many popular PRoW (coastal walks, footpaths and bridleways).
Suffolk Energy Coast = NO-GO Suffolk Coast AONB
LABOUR – Cameron Matthews
Suffolk Coastal Labour does not support the concept of ‘The Energy Coast’. The branding itself puts at risk the visitor and tourist economy of East Suffolk which depends on The Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It conflicts with established identities such as ‘The Sunshine Coast’ and ‘The Heritage Coast’. The huge industrial projects proposed threaten the local economy and environment without bringing any benefits. Traffic congestion on the A12 and rural roads will discourage visitors and compromise the quality of life of local residents.
Suffolk Coastal Labour is unequivocally opposed to the Scottish Power Renewables proposals for the development of onshore infrastructure at Friston. This is a totally inappropriate location for the major industrial structures of which SPR
is just the first. Further developments, in the same location, are already proposed by National Grid Ventures and others. The road infrastructure will not sustain these and planners are not considering the ‘cumulative impact’ of multiple projects.
The location at Friston is being driven by National Grid, which has refused to be accountable to local people in the process of consultation. Labour will take National Grid into public ownership to ensure that investment plans take account of the needs of all national assets, including the environment. Public ownership of energy networks
will ensure that investment projects are effectively coordinated and project managed.
Suffolk Coastal Labour fully supports offshore wind electricity generation and interconnectors. National Grid and the offshore wind and interconnector project developers must work together on a brown field location, using technological solutions, to minimise the scale and impact of onshore infrastructure.
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS – Julia Ewart
The Lib Dems have made a clear statement to shift the balance of power in planning policy. At the moment the government has far too much power to satisfy its green energy quotas with ill-conceived projects that pay lip service to local consultation.
Away from the headline figures in the Lid Dem manifesto, there is also a clear intent to empower non-governmental organisations to hold energy companies and the government to account. The local council has folded meekly with Sizewell and it frankly beggars belief that an AONB like Friston has to suffer a gigantic substation EIGHT MILES IN LAND because it was more convenient for the energy company! How can an energy company and a government ride roughshod over a community like this???
We will give the Environment Agency more powers, restore the Department for Climate change and we will support the introduction of a new Office of Environmental Protection.
It isn’t only the Greens who are serious about the environment.
First of all I find myself asking the question, when did our Heritage Coast become the energy coast? The Green Party is the only party (apart from the SNP) officially against new nuclear because of safety (think Fukishima/Chernobyl/3 mile Island etc. ) and I’ve just learned, the County Council now has the responsibility for the emergency planning for Sizewell which frankly does not fill me with confidence (nor them I suspect). We also object because of nuclear waste disposal and storage problems as well as potential links to nuclear weapons. Personally it makes no sense to me why you would decimate part of our AONB, not to mention the CO2 emissions from the HGV movements to get it built, for a 10-15 year build by which time it will be too late to be of any use in the ‘fight’ against climate breakdown on a crumbling coastline with sea level rise, all to prop up the dilapidated EDF. Oh yeah, and those high skilled well paid jobs promised? Turns out actually not so many to run a nuclear power station once built and mostly not local either as too specialised.
Secondly, what a pity our utilities are no longer nationalised, now everything is so fragmented you’ve got Scottish Power wanting to put their sub station in at Friston too. Don’t get me wrong, us Greens want more wind energy – its in our latest manifesto – 70% wind by 2030, with the rest via a mix of solar, geothermal, tidal and hydro. This is essential if we are going to have any chance of saving ourselves now that a climate emergency is upon us (ours at East Suffolk Council was declared in July this year by me). But in the case of the Friston sub-station at what cost? No matter how well Scottish Power say they can tree screen the proposed sub-station, where something would be the size of a several football pitches its hard to see how it could blend into its environment, let alone one on the edge of a village. How about having an off-shore ring main and hub instead? See attached EDP article https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/environment/offshore-ring-main-for-norfolk-coast-national-grid-1-6263863
If it’s good enough for Norfolk, why not us?