Suffolk Town & Parish Councils Unhappy With 'Neutral' Disctrict Council
The seven closest town and parish councils likely to suffer the brunt of the disruption and chaos from the onshore development of Scottish Powers EA1N & EA2 wind farms have sent a joint letter to Steve Gallant leader at East Suffolk District Council. The letter expresses surprise and disappointment at the councils unexpected about face from an ‘object’ position to a ‘neutral’ position
Local residents are completely up in arms that East Suffolk Council seems to have changed position even though the DCO proposals are largely unchanged. Grove Wood, north of Friston the proposed site for a massive substation complex remains unchanged, even in light of challenges about the known flood issues and noise issues brought to the examiners attention. If anything the situation is much, much worse as it is clear National Grid is prepared to exploit a new connection point at Friston even before these DCOs have been granted.
The parish and town councils are unimpressed with ESC’s lack of transparency, communication and the seemingly undemocratic way ESC’s change in position seems to have come about. The letter expresses the local disappointment and concerns that East Suffolk Council has not addressed the fears of the local communities and businesses that it is supposed to represent.
We are aware many people have personally written to ESC and our local councillors. Local people do not feel ESC have provided adequate explanation of their position, read the letter below,
Cllr Steve Gallant,
Leader, East Suffolk Council,
4 Canning Road,
3rd February 2021
Dear Cllr. Gallant,
We the undersigned town and parish councils were surprised and disappointed to learn of East Suffolk Council’s decision to move towards a more ‘neutral’ position on the onshore elements of the above projects currently under examination with the Planning Inspectorate.
The communities we represent are the ones most directly affected by SPR’s proposals for its sub-stations, cable routes and landfall infrastructure. We therefore feel it reasonable to have expected to be consulted about such a decision and the reasoning behind ESC’s change of position from ‘object’ to being ‘neutral’ overall, and specifically on the mitigation and compensation which you appear to have negotiated. For some councils the first they knew about ESC’s change of position was when they read ESC’s statement in the EADT the day after their council meeting.
We understand that there is no statutory requirement for East Suffolk Council to consult with town and parish councils on these matters. However, in the interests of local democracy and in the spirit of maintaining good relations, particular at this difficult time when local town and parish councils are doing so much to assist their communities, we hope very much that you will take the opportunity to brief us all on the circumstances that led ESC to change their position, and to listen to our views and those of our residents regarding the significant harm still caused by these proposals.
With best wishes.
Cllr Tim Beach (Chair of Snape Parish Council)
Snape PC, Church Road, Snape, IP17 1SZ
On behalf of:
Aldeburgh TC, Aldringham-cum-Thorpe PC, Benhall & Sternfield PC, Friston PC,
Knodishall PC, Leiston-cum-Sizewell TC, Snape PC