Campaigners opposed to plans to bring cables on shore from wind farms at sea have warned that a scheme to coordinate power will result in the 'end of a Suffolk rural oasis'.

The Government's Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has announced that its Offshore Coordination Support Scheme (OCSS) will be providing an initial £1.7 million funding to enable two North Sea wind farms to share cables.

The OCSS aims to encourage separate offshore energy projects to coordinate resources to transmit electricity.

Power firm National Grid's Sea Link project, which will transmit the electricity via a Friston substation and Saxmundham converter station after reaching land near Aldeburgh, is set to benefit from the funding.

However, action group Suffolk Energy Action Solutions (SEAS), which is concerned about damage to the Suffolk countryside from cabling, is opposed to the on shore element of the coordination plans.

READ MORE: Energy minister hears Suffolk wind farm cable concerns

SEAS founder Fiona Gilmore said the group supported the idea of pooling cabling at sea, but said the electricity should instead be brought on shore at a brownfield site at the Isle of Grain in Kent.

She said: "Instead, National Grid will bring about vast damage to the ecology quite needlessly at Aldeburgh with its landfall at North Warren RSPB, carving through 10kms of countryside rich in biodiversity, to dump its converter boxes 26m high (Sea Link is the first of three planned for Saxmundham) next to 23 Grade II-listed homes and across prime farming land.

"The connection to the grid will be at Friston and it will be the end of this rural oasis as we know it."

READ MORE: Suffolk wind farm group granted Court of Appeal hearing

However, in a joint statement the two wind farms involved- North Falls and Five Estuaries- announced their 'delight' at receiving the OCSS funding.

The statement added: "This support enables the projects to consider an alternative coordinated connection whilst, in parallel, continuing to progress existing radial proposals to ensure no delay in building the much-needed infrastructure to support the UK’s net zero targets (should the offshore coordination be determined as not deliverable).

"As beneficiaries of the grant, we will be required to share key learnings on how a coordinated offshore transmission approach could work."

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