Grove Wood to the north of Friston was identified by Scottish Power (SPR) in their early scoping. Unfortunately due to the limitations of Scottish Powers investigative study zone (blue outlined zone on study zone map), SPR failed to spot the village of Friston was immediately south of Zone 7 (Grove Wood),  lying just outside their blue outlined study area. It appears whilst other communities were notified of proposed substation appraisal sites, Scottish Power  failed to notify or engage residents of Friston village during the early stages of consultation. Most residents of Friston did not learn of Scottish Powers plans until after the end of Phase 2 consultation. 

Most residents of Friston were not alerted to the potential threat to the village until Scottish Power’s Phase 3 consultation was reaching its final days. This failure to engage Friston, meant villagers had insufficient time to understand and provide informed opinion on proposals. Scottish Powers ‘Statement of Community Consultation’ ‘SoCC’ advertisements for Phase 3 failed to mention ‘Onshore Development’ requirements. One of the main onshore requirements for offshore wind projects is a need for a vast industrial sites on land with huge industrial buildings and large clusters of exposed electricity machinery.

The failure by the developer to engage the local community (Friston residents) in early consultation meant that most villagers were unable to play a vital role in early stage consultations.

Once villagers learnt of Scottish Powers proposals they made it clear to Scottish Power & key stakeholders that the plans were unacceptable on numerous grounds including some of the following.

  • TOO BIG – The proposed site is huge, plans show a 35+ acre development of warehouse style buildings and industrial equipment with access roads and concrete hardstand in place of open fields, hedges and woodland.
  • TOO CLOSE – The proposed site, buildings and equipment are just metres from the village envelope. Some homes and listed buildings lie within a completely inadequate 250m buffer (typically a buffer of 500-600 metres is used). Scottish Powers plans would set a precedent for industrialisation of a country landscape, their plans would destroy the sanctity of village life for residents. 
    Flood Risk – The proximity of the proposed substations to Friston village will result in an increased & dangerous flood risk to homes and property in Friston.
    Unsociable Noise – The proposed substations proximity to the village and nearest homes will mean any increase in background noise will have a major affect on the daily lives of those living close by.   
  • TOO DISRUPTIVE  -The roads and country lanes surrounding the proposed site are too narrow for large vehicles and HGVs, proposed location to buil
  • TOO DESTRUCTIVE – The proposals require industrial build next to a small village, destroying the character and charm of Friston village. The cable route is the longest of all scoped options with unacceptable damage to the AONB from trenching and cable laying at Thorpeness and over the Sandlings. Large stretches of the Sandlings Walk will be ploughed up en route to Friston, potential beach, footpath and road closures over a 5+ year period. 

Significant Opposition to Scottish Powers Proposals 


Both the local authorities and local MP Therese Coffey have made it clear to Scottish Power that they consider the Friston site to be ‘unsuitable’ and the wrong location for substations, however Scottish Power have not listened. Residents living in Friston have legitimate fears for their health and the safety of their homes due to the significant increase in flood risk posed by Scottish Powers propsals. 

Scottish Power have proceeded with a blinkered approach to their consultation process, where the views of the local authorities, the local MP and the local community stand for nothing.

SPR proposed substation sites view from Grove Road, Friston before EA1N & EA2.
SPR proposed substation sites view from Grove Road, Friston after EA1N & EA2

The images show mock-up before and after views from Grove road, as you enter Friston from the North East. There is no screening from the road, the green edging in the ‘After’ image represents Scottish Powers proposed provision of banking around the site from this location and viewing point.