Please note that during this period of coronavirus restrictions, the SPS team is continuing its work from home. The following is a summary of the key areas of work that we have been focussed on and our representations can be read, in full, by selecting the town/village name.
East Anglia One (North) and East Anglia Two off-shore windfarms – following the submission by Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) of its Development Consent Order application in January, SPS has registered as an Interested Party at the Examination. Our primary concerns relate to the siting of onshore infrastrure, including three substations close to the village of Friston (our relevant representation can be read here).
The initial hearings for the Examiantion into the schemes were due to be held at Snape Maltings at the end of March but have been postponed due to the current coronavirus situation. SPS is monitoring this situation whilst a decision is made by the Planning Inspectorate on whether to delay the process by some months or conduct the inquiry via written submissions and virtual link ups. In the meantime SPS continues collating its submission and in particular is working towards agreeing a statement of common ground between SPR and SPS.
Sizewell C – EDF were expected to submit their Development Consent Order application for two new nuclear reactors at Sizewell at the end of March, however it has been announced that this will be delayed by a ‘few weeks’ due to the ongoing coronavirus situation. SPS has joined with local campaign groups and over 50 parish councils in urging both EDF and the Planning Inspectorate to delay the start of this process until after coronavirus restrictions have been lifted in order to allow for full participation by residents and community groups.
Neighbourhood Planning – SPS is supportive of all parishes underatking the task of developing a Plan as we regard this as the best mechanism by which communities can have some control over the future development of their areas. In March a number of draft plans were brought forward for consultation and SPS responded on the landscape and heritage aspects. Consultation responses were submitted on plans for Needham Market, Wilby, Thorndon, Assington and Laxfield.
Coddenham – petrol filling station and drive thru restaurants – close to junction between the A14 and A140. This application came to our attention due to the close proximity of Shrubland Hall, a grade 1 listed park and garden, and an associated grade 2 listed gatehouse which are immediately adjacent to the site.
Although in close proximity to the dual carriageways, the site currently offers screening and important separation between the gatehouse and the busy A14. Along with Historic England and The Gardens Trust, we have strongly objected to the introduction of a petrol station, 2 storey retail outlet, café and restaurant together with lighting, illuminated advertising and the removal of trees due to the harm this will cause to the setting and thereby the significance of the heritage assets.
Outcomes of interest to SPS:
Elmsett – 34 dwellings – SPS had raised concerns over the impact of a proposed development on the edge of the village on the setting of grade I listed St Peter’s church. In addition to other issues raised by the Parish Council and residents, we argued that the relatively isolated position of the church away from the village is important to its significance and which would be impacted by the development of the site. The adopted Neighbourhood Plan had identified an important view across the site towards the church. The application has been refused.
Suffolk Coast and Heaths newspaper Spring/ Summer 2020 – 50th birthday issue. SPS submitted a piece for the AONB newspaper celebrating the 50 year involvement of the Society in the protection of Suffolk’s AONB landscapes. The SPS article is on page 10.