The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.
East Anglia ONE North Offshore Windfarm
Received 11 December 2019
From Harwich Harbour Fishermen's Association
“The Harwich Fisherman’s Association [Redacted] 11th December 2019 PROPOSED EAST ANGLIA ONE NORTH OFFSHORE WINDFARM OBJECTION As a member representing the 17 vessels of Harwich Fisherman's Association on the East Anglian Two Commercial Fisherman Working Group, I submit my associations concerns, comments and formal objection regarding the proposed application to install wind turbines and cables in the proposed areas. For some months we have engaged in discussions through the working group and we appreciate the efforts by the developers to have open and meaningful discussion with our members however, there are still to date matters that are of serious concern which will create some major issues for all the inshore fleet on the east coast if the project goes ahead. Our members only have previous experience on how past and ongoing wind farm projects have been managed and how they have compromised the commercial activities of fishermen within the Harwich and east coast area. Sometimes a disruption payment has cushioned the impact during construction but we wish to stress that this objection has nothing to do with money; we just do not want anymore wind farms, for the reason below, and WE HAVE OUR SHARE! We are convinced, that certain further areas will become un-fishable and they will remain so whilst the proposed wind farm is in operation and possibly longer. Our members fishing (all under 10mvessels) will be compromised in the proposed areas. In the past the developer has agreed to pre and post construction surveys but because of the uncertain stability of the sea bed on the east coast (continually shifting seabed) what may be satisfactory one day does not give the guarantee it will be safe to fish in the future. We have in all discussion stated that cables will not stay buried in certain sections, which is exactly what has occurred on the Gabbard and Gunfleet wind farms. Any exposed cable is a serious snagging hazard and could have serious consequences for the vessels safety and no skipper is willing to endanger his vessel and crew. The applicant will I am sure say they will follow best practice techniques but will not be able to give cast iron guarantees that cables will be buried and stay buried. The licence conditions will state the seabed should be restored however, again from our experience it will not happen in certain areas. Every cable crossing will have to be covered and each covering will create additional hazards! Over the recent years our fishing activities has been restricted over extremely large areas due to the provision of previous and ongoing sustainable renewable energy schemes and any additional projects on the east coast must be given serious consideration. These sites were regular fishing grounds used by our members but are now no longer available. The knock on effect is that all the fishing activities have been condensed into much smaller areas, with our members struggling to have viable areas to work. Any new additional wind farm will compound this issue, hence our objection. There are ongoing proposals on the east coast that will, if approved, compound the issues further, such as the Marine Conservation Zones, Harwich Haven Authority new Maintenance Dredge Disposal Site and numerous major cable installations out of the Thames. Two existing wind farms have already applied to the crown estate for expansion with planning application forthcoming. When will enough be enough! An additional effect to our members is that, because of the local inshore areas being restricted, longer journey times will be forced on our members, increasing the carbon footprint and running costs of all our vessels. This will also place additional challenges to our members. The present government has stated commitment to ensure fishing remains sustainable on the East Coast, continual reductions of accessible fishing ground for the coastal commercial fishing fleet brings this commitment into doubt. If the East Anglian Two proposal is granted approval, the local fishing fleet (our members) will suffer considerable changes to their existing fishing area but it will also have long term affect on the future generation who hopefully would have inherited a credible and sustainable fishing industry on the east coast, which now must be in question. The proposed wind farm is totally opposed by our association. Trevor Armstrong Honorary Secretary”