Some of our members might be interested in this exhibition by local artists to raise funds to campaign for a better solution to bringing wind power ashore.
Please click on the button below to see their reports for August and September (one document).
Scottish Power EA1N and EA2 windfarm projects
Progress in the campaign for a national strategy for onshore infrastructure associated with offshore windfarms: The Government announced in mid-July a review into the offshore transmission network (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/offshore-transmission-network-review). Many of the East Anglian projects fall into the medium-term category as set out in the review (Medium-term: 2025-2030, those wind farms where a seabed lease has been granted, but no planning permission is in place). More on this on our website.
Closer to home: Members will know that the formal planning application ('Development Consent Order) for the two offshore windfarms has been submitted and accepted for detailed examination by the Planning Inspectorate under the procedure for considering major national infrastructure projects. The Planning Inspectorate intends to start the Examination process in September, and it has to be completed within a fixed period of six months. The earlier parts of the process would be conducted virtually.
We have registered the Society as an Interested organisation, giving us the right to submit documents and speak at hearings. We are urging that the process be delayed until physical meetings are again possible to ensure fair hearing of all local views. We are also urging that all 10 major power projects under way in Suffolk be taken fully into account, rather than being examined piecemeal. We are also arguing that the Examination should not be completed until the Government review is published.
Despite our strong opposition and that of many others, virtual hearings of Scottish Power’s applications are going ahead. The first round of Open Floor Hearings (OFH) are to be held from Wednesday 7th to Friday 9th October 2020. Members of the public can be heard and the deadline to ask to be involved is 9 September.
For more information about latest developments: please see those of the various action groups –
SEAS: https://www.suffolkenergyactionsolutions.co.uk SASES: http://sases.org.uk Anglian Energy Planning Alliance: https://anglianenergyplanningalliance.com
EDF Sizewell C
EDF has moved to virtual hearings (again in the face of strong local opposition) and the development consent order (DCO) application is in the pre-examination phase. The public can access the documents and share their views with the Planning Inspectorate. This phase runs until September 30. The application is tens of thousands of pages long and consists of 600-plus documents. For more information on how to access the documents see EDF’s website:
We are formulating the Aldeburgh Society’s detailed response. Do get in touch with your thoughts.
In the meantime, East Suffolk Council is holding a free debate on Sizewell C Thursday (3 September). Councillors will not be whipped and if members want to lobby councillors you can do so by 2 September. The Stop Sizewell C website stopsizewellc.org has more news & information including about their live and virtual meetings planned for 5 and 7 September.
A small group (including our Treasurer Adrian Brown) has set about improving the closed churchyard to make it more accessible and attractive for visitors and townsfolk. There are graves in our churchyard going back to the latter part of the 17th century (1680 may be the earliest). First the brambles and then the small saplings between gravestones will be cleared. The work is costing about £6,000 and is coming from legacies the church has received. After that Norse will keep the churchyard in good condition.
An arborist will next survey trees and make recommendations. This initial survey work will probably be later this year and will cost about £2,000 (again from legacies). Dealing with the larger trees is really a five to ten year project but once the initial work has been completed the group hope to produce a walking guide to the graveyard so people can see the graves of the famous Aldeburgh residents.
Printing and photocopying are available. You can access PCs but must book an appointment with the library. Open for collections and returns. No events or room hire.
The Aldeburgh Library Foundation has announced a safe & cautious return of the ALF Courses see http://www.aldeburghlibraryfoundation.org.uk/
You will have noticed how busy Aldeburgh became in August and how litter became(is) a real problem. We wrote to all the letting agencies in town asking them to tell their tenants to be careful about litter and to take it home with them if necessary. One responded.
Please click on the link to see the latest report from our local District Councillors on what is going on in East Suffolk.
The Chair has received a response from the Peninsula Practice to our letter expressing concerns raised by members about medical provision in Aldeburgh principally caused by the current crisis and the need for infection control. Things seem to be improving and appointments have resumed at the Aldeburgh surgery, Our letter, Dr Crockett’s video and the Practice's response are below along with the recent proposals to do more in Aldeburgh surgery.
Aldeburgh Society News-
The Aldeburgh Society Committee continues to hold meetings (virtually) and continues to monitor and comment on planning applications.
We are hoping to hold the AGM at some point but there is no regulatory problem with this being delayed. The annual accounts have been approved by the Committee and are now on our website.
We continue to update our members about Aldeburgh Services and information and to direct queries to the Town Council which is working hard to coordinate the response to Covid-19.
We corresponded with the Peninsula Practice about medical provision in Aldeburgh. We certainly think things are improving and will continue to improve as the Covid-19 restrictions are gradually removed. The correspondence and Dr Crockett’s video are on the website.
We await the decision of the Planning Inspectorate as to if and when it plans to hold virtual hearings into the Scottish Power EA1N and EA2 windfarm projects planning applications. We opposed the idea to move to virtual hearings as unworkable and inappropriate and responded accordingly.
EDF Sizewell CEDF has gone ahead (despite our objection and that of many others that a delay was needed because of the Covid-19 restrictions) and submitted its application for a development consent order (DCO). We will be formulating the Aldeburgh Society’s detailed response over the next month.
We are always looking for new members and people interested in joining our committee so please get in touch if you are interested.
We will come out of this. We are investigating how we can hold our talks later in the year with social distancing in place. This may involve "virtual lectures". We will be in touch about our plans.
Anyone with ideas about potential speakers or with questions, suggestions or ideas should email us on email@example.com
EDF has now submitted its planning application for Sizewell C.
The Society is very concerned that The Planning Inspectorate is proceeding with its examination of this whilst we are in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic. We therefore wrote to them expressing our views, the substantive content of which is set out below.
The Aldeburgh Society is the civic society for the historic coastal town and cultural centre of Aldeburgh. The objects of the Society are to encourage public interest in and care for the character of the town and its surroundings, and the preservation, development and improvement of general public amenity in the area.
The Society wishes to express its opposition to the application by EDF for Development Consent for the construction of two new nuclear reactors at Sizewell in present circumstances, while coronavirus lockdown restrictions are in place precluding the normal conduct of a Planning Inspectorate Examination. The proposed development is enormously controversial, and the fullest possible provision must be made for all aspects and views to be considered. This is particularly important since the Planning Inspectorate are already charged with examining the application by Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) for the development of two offshore windfarms and their onshore infrastructure, which would seriously impact the same geographical area of Suffolk.
We accept that the location of the proposed new nuclear power station has been determined by the Government, and we understand the logic of co-locating it with the existing nuclear facilities at Sizewell. The Society has no collective view for or against nuclear power, and it supports the Government’s net zero target for energy production. However, it views with great concern the damage to the Suffolk heritage coast, its environment, its society and its economy, which the construction of this very large industrial project would entail. If there were no existing nuclear power station on this coast, the proposal to develop one here would be unthinkable in today’s heightened awareness of environmental issues.
The Sizewell site is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, adjacent to a major national nature reserve at Minsmere. While extensive public consultations were carried out over the last four years, we understand that concerns raised by the Environment Agency, the Marine Management Organisation and Natural England have still not been fully addressed.
We are greatly concerned that the very large volumes of construction materials required for a project of this size would have to be delivered over a rural roads system, causing environmental damage, noise and disruption to the whole area. More environmentally friendly options for delivery of materials by rail or sea appear to be largely ruled out. It is unacceptable that plans for the management of this traffic have not been agreed with the local authorities. The simultaneous application by SPR, involving further major pressures on the same local infrastructure, makes a coherent integrated approach indispensable.
The construction project would inevitably have a seriously damaging effect upon the tourism business and the cultural offerings for which Aldeburgh is renowned and upon which its local economy is largely based. We therefore urge the Planning Inspectorate to pause the examination of the Sizewell C application until the pandemic lockdown is eased sufficiently to allow a normal full consultative process.
19 June 2020