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Wind farms and 30-acre Friston substation set to go ahead despite protests

PUBLISHED: 08:33 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:33 23 April 2019

East Anglia ONE wind farm offshore substation and GMS Endurance jack-up accommodation vessel Picture: SCOTTISHPOWER RENEWABLES/ROB HOWARTH PHOTOGRAPHY

East Anglia ONE wind farm offshore substation and GMS Endurance jack-up accommodation vessel Picture: SCOTTISHPOWER RENEWABLES/ROB HOWARTH PHOTOGRAPHY

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Government permission for two new wind farms off Suffolk to provide electricity for 1.5million homes will be sought this autumn - despite 600 objections.

Foundations work on the East Anglia ONE wind farm Picture: SCOTTISHPOWER RENEWABLES/ROB HOWARTH PHOTOGRAPHYFoundations work on the East Anglia ONE wind farm Picture: SCOTTISHPOWER RENEWABLES/ROB HOWARTH PHOTOGRAPHY

Opponents of the projects have voiced concerns over traffic and transport, construction timetables and impacts of the massive proposed substation at Friston.

But ScottishPower Renewables say it will carefully consider feedback but still intends to submit its Development Consent Applications for the East Anglia TWO and ONE North offshore wind farms to the Government in October.

David Walker, Development Director at ScottishPower Renewables, said the company will be reviewing the feedback received and finalising its plans following its fourth phase of consultation.

He said: “We would like to thank everyone who provided feedback and attended our events throughout what has been a productive consultation period.

“We have received some 600 consultation responses, with key themes including traffic and transport, construction timetables and the impacts of our proposed substations. Every response is carefully reviewed and considered. Where possible suggestions will be taken into account and will help to shape our plans before submission.

“Our East Anglia TWO and East Anglia ONE North offshore windfarms could deliver significant economic benefits to the region, providing work for local businesses and lasting training and employment opportunities for residents. We are also looking at developing a community funding scheme to benefit the areas in which we will be working.”

In their 34-page response, Friston Parish Council and campaign group Substation Action / Save East Suffolk (SASES) say the 30-acre substation with 15 to 18m high machinery at Grove Wood, Friston will cause “substantial and permanent damage to the village community, the landscape, visual amenity, wildlife and environment”.

They say the area – which will include a six-mile cable route trench – will be blighted for decades to come with “no meaningful economic benefit either in the short term and certainly not in the long term to the area that is affected by these proposals”.

The consultation included engagement with stakeholders including councils, residents and community groups and included 13 public information days.

Last month a new joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal was launched, which will see offshore wind reach the connected capacity of 30GW and deliver one-third of the UK's electricity by 2030. It is predicted this will create 6,000 new jobs in East Anglia.

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