Neighbour’s anger at condition of abandoned substation site

Christian Taylor's home neighbours the area where an extension to the Greater Gabbard windfarm was s

Christian Taylor's home neighbours the area where an extension to the Greater Gabbard windfarm was supposed to come onshore. - Credit: Archant

The neighbour of an electricity substation, abandoned when work halted on a £20million offshore wind farm project, has compared the site to a scorched battlefield.

Christian Taylor lives between the Sizewell power plants and a substation built to bring energy onshore from the Galloper wind farm, which was shelved in October when RWE Innogy said it was unable to meet finance deadlines after joint owner Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) pulled out last March.

Mr Taylor, 69, whose home is owned by Sizewell B operator EDF Energy, described the deserted site as “looking like a cross between the moon and the Somme”.

“They tore down trees and levelled it to lay hardcore. Two weeks later the whole project was shelved.

“There was some attempt to landscape the area but it was driven over during construction. They said trees would be replanted but I’ll never see the benefit. It looks like something they’d plant on the moon if it was ever colonised.”

Mr Taylor, who has twice lived at the address, latterly for 14 years, raised the issue after learning about objections to a new wildlife site designed to replace habitat lost if Sizewell C gets the go-ahead. He said he was upset Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth (FoE) had complained about the potential impact of the scheme on other wildlife sites without also criticising the condition of the green energy substation site.

Construction hoardings still surround much of the site, while the substation remains screened by trees to the north and west. RWE said it was not possible to leave all trees standing due to the position of high-voltage power lines.

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It said a review of the viability of a new business case and design for Galloper was well underway.

A spokesman said: “The site of the onshore substation for Galloper Offshore Wind near Sizewell has been designed to minimise any overall impact on local people and their properties and would be built in accordance with our consents.

“All conditions associated with our activity will be discharged and approval agreed with the local planning authority.

“Appropriate screening has been included in our design but in some locations this isn’t possible due to the proximity of high-voltage infrastructure.”

The firm said it was keeping local residents informed about plans and encouraged anyone with questions about its activity to call 0845 0782941.