Norfolk Vanguard

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.

Norfolk Vanguard

Received 03 August 2018
From Patrice Baldwin

Representation

This project is too large and disruptive for the area and will involve putting enormous wires under a beach that is particularly vulnerable to coastal erosion. I am concerned that with tidal scouring and surges, the cables could end up being exposed. It is also a beach of particular interest historically and anthropologically ( Happisburgh footprints) and the cables could damage possible future finds. The beach is the main tourist attraction in Happisburgh and this village (in an area of rural, socio-economic deprivation) relies on tourism for income. The traffic will be heavy for years and has safety implications, especially where it passes schools. The roads already have poor quality surfaces. The effect of vast cables carrying electricity close to homes could have detrimental effects on people's health. Vattenfall has not held public meetings. They have held 'drop ins' (not well advertised) that have enabled them to control and diffuse the opinions of the general public who have attended. Many residents did not know about the meetings, as there were no public posters in the village about them. When the local MP, (Norman Lamb) held a meeting, the room was overflowing onto the street. Vattenfall were invited to attend but were either not well informed or chose/were unable to communicate key information in a way that could be understood easily by the public. As an interested member of the public, I feel ill informed about this project still, despite attending 'drop in' meetings. Who/what is waiting in the wongs? Which country/owner will/might Vattenfall sell on this project to, once completed (pension fund companies)? How long is the working life of this project? What firm plans are there for dismantling it at the end of its working life? Why is Bacton not a suitable co-site, rather than damage Happisburgh (terrorist targets)? Bacton terminal is already an eyesore and not fully used now, so why not site it there? It seems expedient that the Vattenfall application was being compiled at the same time that the sea off Bacton was deemed a maritime protection area. The public should be be presented with real options for siting it environmentally and geographically. There were no real site options presented. Presumably, Vattenfall (a Swedish company) is driven by coming ashore at the English place that is most profitable for them. Happisburgh is an area of natural beauty and severe coastal erosion and they should make it a smaller project and site it elsewhere. A real public meeting should be held, advertised clearly and in the villages. The meeting should be led by well informed and communicative employees of Vattenfall. Putting out many technical folders on a table at a public drop in and letting the public dip into them, is not sufficient. It enables Vattenfall to say they made the information available, yet they know it is in a form and quantity that is undecipherable to most people. The glossy and sporadic 'newsletters' are carefully crafted propaganda, with little useful information. Vattenfall also rarely reply to emails. There is a veneer of communication and information but in reality, we have not been well communicated with or well informed and it feels as if we are being treated like fools and ignored.