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 19 February 2020
From Linda Hewett

Representation

Local Residents are extremely unhappy towards the application that has been put forward. There has been very little information over the last 2 years has meant that we have not known been informed as to proposed route of the cable. It was drawn up (date on the map in the plans on the government website – Aquind Connector) on the 7/11/2019 but was not published until 12/12/2019 right. It left a limited amount of time disseminate the information to those who need to view it. Instead of just informing residents a huge document was published and residents had a lengthy process of sifting through the documents until they find the map. Aquind were very quick to send out letters asking for information about mortgages and personal information in November 2018 that caused huge upset and yet they have decided not to send out the map to all residents it would effect. Residents feel that the lack of consultation is poor and they have not felt part of the process of it all. The residents in Fort Cumberland road had no idea about the landfall of the cable in the car park and therefore causing huge disruption to their road. I believe there is also a legitimate concern as to the lifeboat station. There is a proposed new development at Fraser Range of 134 homes. There is only one single access road. Aquind gave out information on memory sticks to certain libraries across the city for residents to access at the end of 2019/beginning of 2020. Unfortunately, for residents in Baffin’s, Milton and Eastney, the closest library to view this information would be have been at the central library or Southsea library. Local libraries were both missed off the list especially for people with mobility issues. Libraries on the west side of the city were given sticks but not in the areas affected which is shocking. Why would you give information to people who don't need it rather than people who do - somewhat lacking in sight or underhanded perhaps?. A leaflet was sent out in May 2019 stated that out of 155 responses that Aquind had received, 52% supported or were neutral regarding the proposed approach to the cable route’. Not only was that a poor response but it was only recently that the route was publicised and officially decided on. How can anyone make a decisive decision on how they feel if they have not been properly informed of the route in good time. This ‘consultation’ has been going on for over 2 years now and only in the last 6-8 weeks has it been publicised but not actually distributed to the public it will affect. Not only been taken out of Portsmouth City Council’s hands, but out of the hands of the surrounding councils who also face the cable coming through their boundaries. Why should they only be consultees when they know their own areas and should oversee planning in their own areas? The Secretary of State has not yet had the decency to come to visit the areas effected or to talk to the council leaders and officers in person. And yet they expect residents, councillors and MP’s in all areas to let Aquind get on with it. The level of opposition this proposal is bringing from residents and all political parties in Portsmouth shows that this goes above and beyond party politics. We are facing a climate emergency (of which has been declared in Portsmouth is one of the worst cities in the UK) yet the government are suggesting to woefully destroy habitats and vegetation, to close access to green areas and community spaces, to ignore air quality issues, to not put into place zero carbon measures and to cause huge disruption to the lives of local residents. The cables are proposed to go through or next to some pretty major junctions and roads including the Eastern road, A and B roads and residential roads. There are only 3 roads on and off this island and if there are any accidents or road works, our city is grid locked and that's without summer/seasonal traffic.. What is proposed along the Eastern Road will cause nothing sort of pure chaos across the city. It will lead to huge amounts of air pollution due to queueing cars and could also damage our economy as people will not want to come into Portsmouth if they know that they could be stuck in traffic for large amounts of time. Why are the Government not looking to provide reassurance during projects like these that zero carbon initiatives will be used to help mitigate air quality problems that this cable will put on the people of Portsmouth. Yet there has been nothing from either the government or Aquind. We have a huge issue with air quality in parts of the city, so much so that the government are looking to force air quality zones onto Portsmouth. Yet in the same breath – are now looking to accept such a huge project that would add to the climate emergency and air quality issues through traffic build up/congestion and emissions from building equipment and transportation. This is also whilst refusing to help with extra funding that Portsmouth could do with to combat these issues. How can this government approve a project that will add to these issues when they are actively telling US that we need to do better? In the scoping report, it suggests that Portsmouth city council should only comment regarding the environmental impact due to the landfall. There is no suggestion that they should comment of the route of the cabling even though it will go through some of the most busiest roads in the city as well as one of 3 roads out of the city that will cause misery for the inhabitants of the city in general. (1.3.2 in Part 1 of the Scoping report submitted to Portsmouth City council). To add to that, the report also states that ‘during excavation and laying cables in roads, it is proposed that roads go down to one lane whilst works are ongoing to ‘limit the impact of the local community during cable installation works’. This adds to the evidence that it will cause huge disruption across the city. Furthermore, regarding concerns about environmental impacts, Section 3 states: 3.8.1 In the context of the above, the construction and operation of the Proposed Development may lead to significant environmental effects on the following parameters, although effects could be limited in their temporal and geographical scope: ? Traffic and Transport; Air Quality; Noise and Vibration; Landscape and Visual; Heritage and Archaeology; Ecology (with Arboriculture); Socio-economics; Water Resources and Flood Risk; Ground Conditions; ? Carbon and Climate Change; Human Health; Soils and Land Use; Electric and Magnetic Fields; Waste and Material Resources.