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 23 January 2020
From Ramblers Association
“This Representation is made on behalf of the Ramblers (The Ramblers Association, a company limited by guarantee, registration number 4458492, Registered Charity number 10935), Suffolk Area. We consider that the siting of the substations is inappropriate. These should be sited on brownfield sites. Brownfield sites are said to be available near other points where the cabling for the windfarm could come shore, for example, Lowestoft. If the development is approved, we are concerned regarding the effect it will have on the public rights of way (PROW) network and the beauty of the countryside. Regarding the proposed temporary PROW diversions, we are concerned particularly about the trenching across Aldringham Byway 20 between points L-1 and L-2 on drawing EA1N-DWF-ENV-DRG-IBR-000428, At this point the Byway is a delightful sunken path between mature hedges and forms a magical “tree tunnel” during the spring, summer and autumn months. The destruction of the hedges would spoil this beautiful feature for decades. It is submitted that cabling crossing the byway should be done by horizontal drilling, as with the metalled roads. Regarding the proposed permanent PROW diversions, we welcome the new paths. We will also welcome the reconfigured Knodishall Footpath 7 near Grove Road. We are concerned about the course of the new footpath PERM35a where it runs NE along Grove Road. We need assurance that this path will be a field-edge path on the field side of the hedge and not along the carriageway of the road. We expect considerable planning gain to come out of the proposed development and have identified the following improvements needed to the PROW network in the district. The creation of new paths to give effect to these improvements should be financed by way of s. 106 gains. 1. The Sailors' Path. This path forms most of the section of the Suffolk Coast Path recreational route between Snape Maltings and Aldeburgh Town and is likely to become the route of the England Coast Path, a national trail being established under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. In addition to local amenity and an essential link in the Suffolk Coast Path this route also features in the East Suffolk Lines Walks project promoted by the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership. The whole Suffolk Coast Path route links Felixstowe and Lowestoft. Until very recently, there was no safe link at the Aldeburgh end between the small car park at TM443581 and the start of the pedestrian footway on the A1094 at TM448577. Walkers using the route were expected to walk in the carriageway. The A1094 is a fast and dangerous road for the walker after it leaves the 30 mph limit. The grass verges are narrow, sloping and uneven. They have regular drainage channels cut into them and are totally inadequate for walking. The problem has been temporarily rectified in that Suffolk County Council has secured a licensed path from the owners of the Aldeburgh Golf Course. However, this is understood to be a ten-year agreement only and a permanent right of way is required. The verges on the southern side of the road fronting the gardens between the Golf Club and the small car park also need dedicating and signage installed to warn motorists that people will be walking close to the carriageway. 2. The Aldeburgh-Thorpeness railway trackbed. This forms part of much-walked circular routes taking in Aldeburgh, Thorpeness, the Aldringham Fen and Aldringham Walks. It also presents for walkers and cyclists a safe alternative to the B1122 which is a fast and extremely dangerous road and the only other direct link between Aldeburgh and Leiston. Much of the track bed appears to be in private ownership but is open, presumably as a permissive path. Permissive paths are unsatisfactory because the permission can be withdrawn at any time. Again, proper Creation Agreements or Orders should be funded to secure the route permanently. An ideal solution would be for a bridleway to be created over the track bed as this would provide a multi-user facility for walkers, horseriders and cyclists. 3. River Wall - eastern side of Butley River. The path along the river wall needs to be added to the Rights of Way Definitive Map between the points TM393505 and TM396485. Its omission could simply be an anomaly as the route recorded on the Definitive Map as Chillesford Footpath 18 stops abruptly at the Chillesford/Gedgrave parish boundary which is absurd. The proper recording of this route would enable a fine circular walk linking Chillesford and the Butley Ferry. It is hoped that this path will become part of the England Coast Path. 4. River Wall - Butley Ferry to Tide Gauge (TM393481 to TM415484). This is another section where there is no apparent reason for the route not to be recorded on the Definitive Map. It is freely used (possibly on a permissive basis) but is another instance where a Creation Order or Agreement should be funded. 5. Alde River wall east of Iken Church (TM412567 - TM443556) - This is another section of river wall that should be opened to the public as a public footpath to link Iken Church with Public Footpath Iken 7. We are recommending to Natural England that it becomes part of the English Coast Path. 6. Cliff-top path Thorpeness to Sizewell (Aldringham-cum-Thorp footpath 31)- There are some serious incidents of erosion along this path which have caused the Suffolk Coast Path recreational route to be re-routed. The path affords outstandingly beautiful views. Strengthening work needs urgently to be carried out just to the south of the junction with footpath 32 (TM475616) where the path edge is falling away. Footpath 31 seems now to have been lost between points TM474599 (Old Homes Road) and approximately TM476604. The footpath below the cliffs (footpath 33) is also impassable at high tide in the vicinity of TM475601 where gabions have been installed. This part of the problem is eased by the fact that people have for many years been able to walk freely over the grassland between Thorpeness Common and the cliffs and along the existing tracks to reach Byway 20 or North End Avenue, Thorpeness. However, this area is not recorded as Access Land nor are there any public rights of way over it recorded on the Definitive Map. Creation of permanent rights of way over these tracks should be funded to enable signage to be installed and them to become part of the Suffolk Coast Path recreational route. 7. Reckford Bridge - Another short but very useful creation would be a path of 0.12 mile between Reckford Bridge (TM436677) and the start of Black Slough (TM438679). If a path were created inside the hedges of the farm land, that would provide a safe alternative to walking along the busy and dangerous carriageway of the B1125 between Public Footpath Westleton 25 and Bridleway Westleton 26 and enable valuable circular walks around Middleton, Eastbridge, Minsmere and Westleton to be walked safely. 8. Kenton Hills and Sizewell Belts - A small network of permissive paths north-west of Sizewell Power Station exists over this area and we feel that these paths should be dedicated and become permanent public rights of way. 9. Route from Eastbridge Road to Leiston Footpath 20. – Much of this route between TM454652, through Black Walks and Lower Abbey to TM458661 is believed to be in the ownership of EDF. It is believed to have been a freely available route for walkers historically. A PROW should be created along this route as a safe alternative to the Eastbridge Road between Footpath 20 and Bridleway 19 at the Round House. 10. Footpath crossings over the A12 on the Saxmundham by-pass. – There are several footpath or bridleway crossings over the A12 that are extremely dangerous for users. The road is a single-carriageway with mostly a 60 mph speed limit. It appears that little consideration if any was given to walkers, cyclists or horse riders when the bypass was built in the late 1980s. Traffic levels have increased steadily since then. There are no warnings to motorists of the crossings, there are no central refuges and in two instances (those at TM 376 644 and TM 375 636) the walker’s task is made even more precarious by having to climb over Armco-type barriers at each side of the carriageway. At TM 375 632 the path crosses the A12 at an oblique angle requiring the walker to walk some considerable distance alongside the carriageway in order to cross it at a right angle. These crossings should be made easier by speed limits, warning signs to motorists, provision of gaps in the Armco barriers and the installation of central refuges. The crossings are: TM 380 656, Kelsale Footpath 10 TM 373 646, Kelsale Footpath 38 TM 376 644, Kelsale Footpath 1 TM 375 639, Kelsale Footpath 3 TM 375 636, Saxmundham Footpath 5 TM 375 632, Saxmundham Footpath 11 TM 376 630, Saxmundham Footpath 13 TM 377 621, Benhall Footpath 22 TM 378 616, Benhall Bridleway 25 12. Pedestrian access between Aldringham and Thorpeness.– The B1353 is an important link between these two villages in the parish of Aldringham-cum-Thorp. However, it is a fast and dangerous road for those wishing to make the journey on foot. Adequate footways or footpaths alongside the parts of this section of road should be created where they do not already exist.”