Campaigners 'devastated' after two large wind farms off Suffolk coast given consent

Two large wind farms have been given development consent off the Suffolk coast.
Two large wind farms have been given development consent off the Suffolk coast. Credit: PA

Two large wind farm projects off the Suffolk coast have been given consent by the Government.

Once completed, the sites will consist of 142 offshore turbines and two controversial sub-stations at Friston in Suffolk.

East Anglia One North and East Anglia Two, off the coast of Lowestoft and Southwold, have been granted development consent by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.   

Fiona Gilmore, founder of Suffolk Energy Action Solutions, said she was "devastated" by the decision.

"This is extremely bad news for the area," she said. "We're thinking about taking this decision to a judicial review."

Campaigners are particularly concerned by the sub-stations which bring cables ashore at Friston near Saxmundham.

"These are concrete monolithic buildings," said Ms Gilmore. "People come here for ornithology, rambling, cycling... who will want to come here?

"There are much better solutions such as taking the cables to brownfield sites, industrial areas like Bradwell."

Ms Gilmore also argues that the development will be bad for the economy because it will put off visitors and not create any meaningful jobs.

However, Ian Pease from Generate, the East of England's energy investment partnership, welcomed the decision.

He said: "The East of England as the UK’s leading renewable energy producer is on track to supply 50% of the UK’s 40GW offshore wind target by 2030 and these projects form an important part of that.

"By combining offshore and onshore wind, solar, nuclear power and gas, the East of England is driving the UK’s energy transition, helping to keep the country on track for net zero by 2050."

The applications were submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration by ScottishPower Renewables.  

The Planning Inspectorate’s Chief Executive, Sarah Richards said: “The Examining Authority listened and gave full consideration to local views and the evidence gathered during the examination before making their recommendations.”