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Action group call on Westminster to look at east Suffolk energy plans

PUBLISHED: 18:32 04 January 2019 | UPDATED: 18:32 04 January 2019

Campaigners say the substation will have a huge impact on Friston Picture: SASES

Campaigners say the substation will have a huge impact on Friston Picture: SASES

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A Suffolk Action Group is calling for the government to investigate a series of energy projects which they say will cause a “lifetime of destruction” in rural parts of east Suffolk.

One of Siemens' 7MW wind turbines, of the kind to be installed as part of the East Anglia One offshore wind farm project Picture: CONTRIBUTEDOne of Siemens' 7MW wind turbines, of the kind to be installed as part of the East Anglia One offshore wind farm project Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Substation Action, Save East Suffolk (SASES) wants a parliamentary select committee to begin investigations into the work which is being carried out in coastal parts of Suffolk.

In particular the group are concerned by the work being carried out by Scottish Power Renewables to build a substation at Friston, describing the companies proposals as “damaging”.

The group say that not enough work was done to identify possible brownfield sites for the energy projects and say that there are now an “extraordinary number of energy projects in one small and sensitive area of Suffolk”.

In addition they say that they were concerned by plans to link the UK electricity grid to Belgium and the Netherlands at the location.

The group have now written to both the parliamentary select committees for energy and the environment in the hope that they will be able to investigate what has been taking place.

A spokesman for Substation Action Save East Suffolk said: “People understand the need for renewable energy but what is happening in east Suffolk is a scandal and undermines the case for renewable energy.

“Renewable energy should not involve the desecration of landscapes which cannot be renewed when with a strategic, long term approach sensible solutions can be found.

“How can Scottish Power be allowed to dig up miles of an AONB, a supposedly legally protected landscape, twice and possibly yet again in the future?”

A spokesperson for Scottish Power Renewables said: “In 2017 we completed a joint review with National Grid of the grid connection for the projects. This assessed all options, including brownfield sites.

“This highlighted the Sizewell pylon lines now have capacity to carry the energy from the windfarms.

“Among other factors, a connection into the Sizewell pylon lines and siting the substations closer to the coast, near Friston instead of Bramford, reduces the length of the cable route, making the projects more economically efficient and minimising disruption to the wider area.”

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