East Anglia ONE North Offshore Windfarm

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 24 January 2020
From Suffolk Local Access Forum

Representation

The Suffolk Local Access Forum is a statutory body set up under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 to advise the County Council and other bodies with regard to public access to the countryside. In the past we have been statutory consultees for Sizewell C and Network Rail so at our recent meeting we were dismayed that Scottish Power had not engaged with us regarding their proposals for bringing power from EA1N and EA2 ashore at Thorpeness to a new substation at Friston. As the onshore works associated with the cable route will affect 26 public rights of way (PRoW) in the locality during construction, and whilst the substation works will also require the permanent stopping up of a section of PRoW to the north of the village of Friston; around the area the access network will be severely compromised by the construction of the substation and residents and visitors will suffer both temporary disruption and permanent loss of a key public footpath. SLAF would therefore expect any disruption to the PRoW network is minimised and where impacts cannot be avoided, appropriate and timely mitigation needs to be provided. The fact that many PRoWs along the cable corridor and substation site will only be closed temporarily does not mean that they are preserved as a local amenity when the ability to derive any enjoyment from them is severely reduced. We understand that the application does not recognise or mitigate for this loss of amenity. Scottish Power has also failed to acknowledge the effect these works will have on designated long distance routes that are widely used by walkers. These are the Sandlings Walk, and the Suffolk Coast Path (soon to be part of the National England Coast Path) which will be affected by the landfall site north of Thorpeness. The latter will be the first National Trail in Suffolk and is anticipated to bring economic benefits to the region The permanent stopping up of the public footpath north of Friston village will remove a historic, tranquil and attractive walking route in a rural landscape and replace it with a much longer circuitous route that is not wholly screened from the new industrial landscape, running adjacent to the open road in parts and possibly in a ditch. During construction of the substation, there will be physical disruption, noise, a loss of tranquillity and severe visual impact which will continue following its construction. SLAF is concerned as to the impact of the closure of so many PRoW’s to enable the cable route and substation to be constructed. We would require more detail as to the phasing and duration of any closures, particularly where several PRoW’s are close together and at the substation site as we are concerned that there could be closures and disruption of a network of PRoW all at the same time, leaving walkers with very limited or no access at all, particularly if similar closures and diversions were occurring around the Sizewell C construction site.