Anglian Energy Planning Alliance

What's at Stake?

The East Anglian coast is being promoted by government as an important energy generating area with its long coastline identified as an ideal location for offshore wind and for nuclear generated power. Whilst all in favour of renewable energy, local communities are dismayed at the lack of strategic planning and, in particular, the disjointed manner in which power would be transported and generated.

As a result they face the prospect of miles of the Suffolk Coast and Heath AONB and the rural landscape around it being industrialised on an unprecedented scale. As well as two nuclear reactors at Sizewell C covering an area of 79 acres plus further acreage for car parks, storage, a workers' village for 2400 people, there are proposals for 5 massive inland power complexes each serving an offshore wind farm. Each complex would be 30-35 acres (about the size of Wembley stadium) and all require miles of 32 metre wide cable trenches (the average UK motorway is 33metres wide) from landfall on the coast to rural sites inland.

These uncoordinated projects would run concurrently. A minimum of 13 years of construction-related blight - huge volumes of HGV traffic (Sizewell C alone could be up to 1500 HGV movements per day), traffic congestion, road closures, footpath closures, noise pollution, light pollution, air and dust pollution, huge influx of construction workers circa 5000 would result in:

  • major damage to a tourism-dependent local economy valued at £210 million per year
  • permanent damage to the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB and some of the most bio-diverse habitats in the UK
  • permanent damage to the rural landscape and its communities
  • permanent damage to heritage
  • permanent loss of habitat for protected species of animals and birds
  • permanent loss of prime agricultural land

East Suffolk and the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB is one of the last remaining relatively unspoilt rural landscapes within 100 miles of London. The area is not only beautiful, it is also of great environmental significance, well known to birdwatchers walkers and tourists who come to enjoy the peace and tranquillity, the large open spaces, and the feeling of escape. It is home to the Suffolk Sandlings, an area of lowland heath, Britain's rarest wildlife habitat. These energy projects would destroy this precious landscape and the wildlife that it supports. And it's not just happening here. Rural communities in Norfolk are under similar threat from industrial scale onshore infrastructure to service offshore windfarms. They and their local MP, George Freeman, are working hard to persuade government to support an offshore ring main.

© 2019 Anglian Energy Planning Alliance