AQUIND Interconnector

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.

AQUIND Interconnector

Received 04 February 2020
From Alistair Thompson

Representation

Dear Sir, I am writing to you about the proposed Aquind Interconnector, which will land in Portsmouth. The proposals and lack of public consultation are causing significant concern to residents along the route and users of the amenities that will be dug up during the process. A feeling that this project and those behind it are happy to ride roughshod over local concerns has rapidly grown - I am sure this was not your intention. Specifically, there is considerable concern around the environmental damage the project will cause to areas used by Brent Geese, slow worms and other species and what steps will be taken to prevent exposure and release of materials buried in some of the land on the proposed route many years ago. Additional concerns include the disruption to business and one of the City's major transport routes and the adversarial approach being taken by project team toward residents and the City Council. There is also consternation about the pace of this project and failure to engage with members of the Portsmouth community to explain what steps are being taken to mitigate these problems or finding ways of not causing them in the first place. To date, my neighbours and I have not received any letters or information from the applicant about their proposals, yet I live in an area that will certainly be affected by the internector. Having walked along a considerable section of the proposed route, there appears to be no signs or other information about this proposal, or information about how residents can support or oppose it. I believe the company have failed to meet even the minimum requirement of a very light touch consultation process. Consequently, there is a belief that the company is deliberately ignoring both the residents and has not discharged the requirements of the law. I believe this was even the topic of a discussion between a representative of the company, or those acting on its behalf and the Planning Inspector in File Note: EN20022. I would like to formally request under the Freedom of Information Act that any notes about this conversation, taken during or after the phone call, emails, documents or similar are released to me and published on the website. I originally copied in the Company's agents, but have received no response or acknowledgement to me hastily written email. This seems both discourteous and strengthens the view that the company has failed to consult those affected by these plans. Other areas of concern included the suggested CPO, the potential blight of land, lack of funding to complete the project, including making good damage caused during the work to lay the interconnector. From a personal and selfish perspective, the proposed route will cut across the land that I and many others use for recreational purposes. Indeed this land is used by many families and includes parkland and sports pitches. Questions have been raised with me about the fact the project as I understand, intends to attach the cable to the Eastern Road bridge without testing this ageing structure, or indemnifying against the possible disruption that damage to this bridge might cause and many more. If this required significant work to the bridge, who would pay and has any assessment been undertaken into the impact of carrying out in the harbour will impact the seal population. I would be happy to discuss these concerns with a representative of the planning inspectorate and as mentioned I made an offer to the Company's agents to discuss them and possible mitigation. Until the issue of the less than minimum consultation and other concerns have resolved, I wish to add my objection to this proposal. Yours faithfully, Alderman Alistair Thompson
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