New consultation to be held on controversial substation plan

A new consultation will be held into plans for new windfarms in east Suffolk Picture: PA/ PHIL NOBLE

A new consultation will be held into plans for new windfarms in east Suffolk Picture: PA/ PHIL NOBLE - Credit: PA

Residents concerned at proposals for a massive substation will get longer to air their views after a new consultation was added in the wake of widespread fears of the project’s impact.

Hard copies of the consultation will be avaliable at these locations Picture: SPR

Hard copies of the consultation will be avaliable at these locations Picture: SPR - Credit: Archant

The original proposals, which could result in five miles of countryside being dug up for cables to reach the station in Friston, have faced strong opposition from the community.

But now a new consultation, which follows talks between the community, energy firms and local councils, will look at putting onshore substations for the proposed windfarm on the Sizewell B estate, known as Broom Covert, instead of being placed on land at Grove Wood in Friston.

The new phase of the consultation will run for a month from September 29 until October 29.

David Walker, development director at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “We are committed to exploring all options fully and this additional stage of consultation will focus specifically on the Broom Covert site.

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“We would like as many people as possible to provide their feedback on this additional stage of consultation.

“Residents will be able to come along to public council meetings we are holding, or view the plans on our website or at libraries and public buildings across Suffolk.”

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Broom Covert had been earmarked for the moving of protected wildlife in preparation for the development of Sizewell C. It sits within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths area of outstanding natural beauty.

Mr Walker added: “Our initial feedback from local authorities and from EDF Energy advised that the Sizewell Estate was not available for our project to utilise, due to its location within the AONB and future developments already planned to support Sizewell C.

“However, recent requests from local authorities have indicated that SPR should explore this land further, and we have continued our positive engagement with EDF Energy to see if the land could be made available.”

In a joint statement Richard Rout, cabinet member for environment and public protection and Geoff Holdcroft, Suffolk Coastal District Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member with responsibility for economic development, said: “We welcome this announcement and are pleased that Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) have decided to consult on an alternate location near Leiston.

“We have been calling for more thought to be put into where, when and how projects are developed to minimise disruption to local communities and infrastructure. We are pleased that SPR have listened to these concerns as well as the concerns of the community.

“While our councils support the need for these energy projects, to safeguard our country’s future electricity supply, and support the move towards sustainable renewable energy generation, it should not be done while ignoring the genuine needs and concerns of the local communities – or at the cost of our environment.

“We will be working together to make sure Scottish Power Renewables listen to our views and would like to encourage local people to have their say on the proposed sites.”

As part of the new consultation four public meeting will be held in October.

They will take place at

? Leiston - Sizewell Sports and Social Club - Tuesday October 9 2018, 7.30pm.

? Friston - Friston Village Hall - Wednesday October 10 2018, 7.30pm.

? Knodishall - Knodishall Village Hall - Friday October 12 2018, 6.30pm.

? Thorpeness - Thorepness Country Club - Monday October 15 2018, 6.30pm.

An updated statement of community consultation has been published for East Anglia Two and East Anglia One.

Consultation documents will be published on these websites when it begins. Hard copies will be available to read in libraries and council offices across east Suffolk and South Norfolk.

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