The list below is a record of advice the Planning Inspectorate has provided in respect of the Planning Act 2008 process.
There is a statutory duty under section 51 of the Planning Act 2008 to record the advice that is given in relation to an application or a potential application and to make this publicly available. Advice we have provided is recorded below together with the name of the person or organisation who asked for the advice and the project it relates to. The privacy of any other personal information will be protected in accordance with our Information Charter which you should view before sending information to the Planning Inspectorate.
Note that after a project page has been created for a particular application, any advice provided that relates to it will also be published under the ‘s51 advice’ tab on the relevant project page.
Advice given between between 1 October 2009 and 14 April 2015 has been archived. View the archived advice.
East Anglia TWO Offshore Windfarm View all advice for this project
PINS REF: EN010078 East Anglia Two Dear Case Officer I am writing to put in a formal complaint about the pre-application work and consultations carried out by Scottish Power & by SPR for National Grid. I have previously raised many of these issues with both The Planning Inspectorate and developer Scottish Power Renewables and separately with National Grid who appear to feel they operate outside of the realms of the Planning Act. I am aware some of these issues have been covered by the local group SASES but these are my own views which I hope PINS will also review and take into consideration. 1. Failure to effectively assess and explore connection possibilities It is not clear as to who majority blame lies with, but it is clear both National Grid & Scottish Power did not explore 'all options' when considering how and where to connect EA1N & EA2 projects to the grid. There was NO consideration of brownfield locations, there was a complete disregard for the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB (protected landscape) and it appears virtually no 'on the ground' knowledge of the typography of the chosen location at Grove Wood for substation buildings infrastructure and grid connections. Subsequently cables are intended to land in one of the Suffolk Coast's most vulnerable sand cliff locations north of Thorpeness, the proposed cable route will plough up acres of AONB & Sandlings SSI landscape (possibly twice), the substations if located at Grove Wood are in undulating land that has ongoing problems with surface water 'run-off' which has contributed to flooding in Friston village twice in the month of October alone. 2. Failure to effectively engage, especially those residents living in Friston A key issue for residents living in Friston is that intentionally or unintentionally, Scottish Power failed to generate fair local awareness of the projects or the shortlist of 'onshore' development locations until well into Phase 3 consultation. SPR did not include Friston addresses in early leafleting in the lead up to phase 3, even though postal addresses in other parishes Knodishall, Leiston, Aldringham and Thorpeness were all sent leaflets, or leafleting was made available via the parish councils in these villages. Then, the projects were not effectively advertised SoCC advertisements published March 2018 (see attached image) in the local press contained NO mention whatsoever of onshore development requirements for either of the projects EA1N & EA2. Unless you have significant experience and knowledge of offshore wind projects, the majority of residents would have had NO idea from these advertisements of the significance & potential for these projects to have a major impact on their life and surroundings. I believe these advertisements failed 100% to achieve the necessary local awareness of the scale of EA1N & EA2's 'onshore' and 'permanent' development requirements. We now know the projects each require many acres (circa 35) for industrial buildings and unsightly electrical equipment, transformers etc. which if these projects move forward as intended by SPR will be built at Grove Wood, within in 200 metres of the nearest homes in the north of Friston village. 3. Muddled & confusing consultations, ineffective Public information Days (PIDs), poor local knowledge The consultations were muddled, the public has been confused by the nature of these 'dual projects' and by duplicate information released. It has been hard to assess propsals fairly as it has been unclear if these were one or two projects, or even three (if you take into account the National Grid substation). As the process has moved forward things have become more complicated and confusing. The so called experts on hand at PID's seemed to lack important information and were often unable to answer answer questions, especially about the National Grid substation and NG's requirements. It has and continues to be hard to work out if key details are specific to one project, or the other, or both. Fair and effective consultation for National Grid's substation/connection buildings etc has been virtually non-existent. 4. National Grid Substation - has not been consulted for in accordance with the Planning Act SPR have apparently been consulting for National Grid's Substation & requirements, however essential information has been lacking and at the PIDs no one from National Grid was available to discuss details or answer questions. Many questions raised with Scottish Power about the NG substation raised blank looks and a familiar response along the lines of "that's a National Grid facility.... we are not sure, details will follow". Recently it has been brought to the attention of Friston residents that National Grid's substation could be used for one or both inter-connector projects (Nautilus & Eurolink). The shady nature of Scottish Power & National Grids behind closed doors relationship, seems to be designed to provide National Grid with a new connection facility, that can be used to circumvent planning for future projects. Surely this is NOT legal or acceptable? National Grid appears to have offered a connection point in a questionable and wrong location in order to save money and obtain a new grid connection facility. There has been no consideration of cumulative effects of numerous projects directed to what is a small rural/coastal area just a few miles from Sizewell, which could be the location of one of Europes largest construction projects if plans to build Sizewell C (2 nuclear reactors) go ahead. There has been unacceptable consideration given to the damaging effects on the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB and ecology of a supposedly protected landscape. Likewise the effects on the communities and vital tourism industry (the biggest employer in the area) appear to all have been ignored by National Grid and Scottish Power & EDF for that matter. I am aware that the Secretary of State Andrea Leadsom and Energy Minister Kwarsi Kwarteng will be facilitating an investigation into the environmental impacts of energy projects on the Norfolk & Suffolk Coasts. I am a local resident in Friston and a tourism business manager (Beach View, Sizewell), this area faces a real threat of decades of damaging projects and complete devastation of the Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB, all of which will lead to the questionable viability and future success of many business providers in our local tourism sector. I feel The Planning Inspectorate must reject these applications until environmental and community impacts have been fully and independently assessed, as has been promised by the Secretary of State at BEIS. Yours Sincerely, Nicholas Thorp
Dear Nick, Thank you for contacting the Planning Inspectorate about the application by East Anglia TWO Limited for an Order granting development consent for the East Anglia TWO Offshore Windfarm. The application was submitted on 25 October 2019. The decision to accept the application was made on the 22 November 2019. The decision was published on the project webpage, here: attachment 1 The following documents have also been published on the project webpage: • The application documents; • Any Adequacy of Consultation Representations submitted by relevant local authorities; • The Planning Inspectorate’s Acceptance Checklist. If you have sent comments about the pre-application consultation, these can be considered in addition to the statutorily required Acceptance tests when making the decision about whether or not to accept the application. However, it will be for the decision maker (the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State) to decide the weight to give to the views expressed based on the individual facts of the case. The comments you sent were, as you mention, also raised in correspondence from SASES and therefore were considered in making the acceptance decision. In order to make comments about the merits of the Proposed Development to an appointed Examining Authority, you will need to register as an Interested Party by making a Relevant Representation. You have until the 27 January 2020 to register as an Interested Party and can do so on the project website now: attachment 2 For more information about how and when you can have your say, please see our Advice Note 8.2: How to register to participate in an Examination: attachment 3 If you wish to have your say on East Anglia ONE North and East Anglia TWO you must register for each application separately. Kind regards, Liam