Darsham Parish Council
East Anglia One and Two – Consultation response
Darsham Parish Council supports the construction of East Anglia One and Two windfarms, recognising their contribution to meeting the government's renewable energy targets. However, it is crucial that the impacts of construction and associated transport implications on the life of local residents, and their right to quiet enjoyment, are minimised. We believe the grid substation should be located close to Sizewell, not at Friston, and we urge Scottish Power and EDF to consult together on road transport proposals as part of the process to minimise the impacts of the construction period, by considering developing the W(D2) relief road route to service both the Sizewell C and substation developments.
- National vs local interest
Darsham Parish Council supports the construction of East Anglia One and Two windfarms, recognising their contribution to meeting the government's renewable energy targets. We recognise that these developments are in the national interest. However, it is vital that such projects take into account the lives of local people and that every effort should be made to minimise the impact of such large construction projects on our daily lives.
- Location of the substation
We believe the proposal to locate the grid substation near Friston is flawed. The consultation document claims that the location at Friston, outside the AONB, will reduce the impact on the AONB. This fails to take into account the loss of valuable farmland at Friston and the impact of the development on the local population in terms of both visual impact, noise and emissions pollution from the increase in traffic movements associated with the construction. The substation covers an area of 3.6Ha with a building height of 15m, one additional pylon and electrical equipment 18m high; though screening is proposed, this will constitue a blot on the horizon close to an unspoilt village. Location close to Sizewell, which is an already much larger structure, would effectively reduce the visual impact of this development, reduce transport impacts (see below) and make the incorporation of environmental mitigation measures easier to manage.
- Transport impacts
There are no details on traffic movements in the consultation document. Reference is made to traffic estimates in 2024 when construction might start, and concludes that the impacts in terms of noise and emissions will be minor. We would challenge this statement. Scottish Power propose a number of minor mitigation measures on the road network but no major road improvements. We do not accept the various conclusions listed in the consultation document about the cumulative impacts of East Anglia One and Two together with the Sizwell C proposals as “minor”. Given that the Sizewell development could start as early as 2021/2 and given the inadequacy of current EDF proposals (the view of Suffolk County Council – see below) the local road network will be under serious pressure and heavily congested by 2024.
- The case for a new Relief Road
There is a real opportunity here for some joined-up thinking and co-operation between EDF and Scottish Power. Suffolk County Council and all local Parishes have dismissed the latest EDF proposals for a relief road by-passing villages on the B1122 as inadequate. They are asking EDF to re-evaluate the W (D2) route which leaves the A12 at Benhall and runs across open farmland direct to Sizewell. If constructed, this route would take more than 85% of the estimated HGV traffic bound for Sizewell and could also be used to service the substation site at either Friston or Sizewell, minimising the impact of construction traffic on the local road network.
- Impacts on the local population
We take serious issue with statements 173 – 176 which claim there will be benificial employment impacts, no significant adverse impacts and “significant beneficial impacts to short-term, long-term and tourism employment”. We cannot dispute the figures for jobs created by East Anglia One and Two, but taken together with the Sizewell construction period (workforce 7,000) which will be concurrent, there will be serious impacts on local communities in terms of housing, schooling, medical and emergency services, policing and the availabilty of local trades people.
- Impacts on tourism
In terms of tourism, people visit the AONB to enjoy the environment and quality of life that we, the local population, currently enjoy. Recent research puts the annual income from tourism in the AONB at £210 million pa supporting 6,000 jobs. Any large construction project in the area will have some negative impact on tourism; while it is true that the Sizewell development would have a potentially much larger impact than East Anglia One and Two, to suggest that a project, which involves building an eyesore in unspoilt countryside with the knock-on effects of increased construction traffic, will create significant tourism employment, is complete nonsense.
Darsham Parish Council
March 25th 2019