Reydon Parish Council states its staunch opposition to the LionLink project, urging National Grid Ventures to reconsider the proposals
A parish council has announced its staunch opposition to an energy project which could severely affect its community.
Reydon Parish Council has stated it strongly opposes proposals set out in the LionLink programme, including onshore infrastructure.
This follows a meeting the council held in which it sought to gather views from the public so that the response could be reflective of the Reydon community.
LionLink is a renewable energy project which seeks to connect Dutch and British offshore wind capabilities, but would require infrastructure to be erected onshore, with a proposed cable route running from Southwold to Friston, where a new substation will be constructed.
The statement said: “Reydon Parish Council strongly opposes the current proposals for onshore infrastructure and cabling for LionLink and, in particular, the northern cable routes from Southwold to Friston which will do unnecessary damage to our village, its environment and community.
“LionLink, and in particular the ‘northern’ cable route, will do significant damage to our community and local economy and create long term or permanent damage to our wildlife and their habitats.
“The northern route would also run in close proximity to protected sites including Reydon Wood, Blyth floodplain and Benacre NNR which is a major concern of local and national conservation bodies.”
Some of the impacts that the council list which could have significant effects on the community include the hydrology at Reydon Smear being impacted, destruction of trees and hedgerows which may not recover and could disrupt wildlife and biodiversity and reduction of the tourist economy due to lesser quality landscape and tranquility.
LionLink would be a first of its kind link between the UK and the Netherlands and has the scope to provide 1.8 gigawatts of clean electricity to the UK.
It would contribute to national energy security and the country’s climate and energy goals.
The council recognises the need for the country to move to renewable energy and transfer to a non-carbon economy, however it lambasts the placement of the cable routes given the areas susceptibility to erosion.
It states the landfall is problematic and a key reason for its opposition to the proposed routes, saying: “Although we have been told the connection point will be behind the concrete seawall north of Southwold Pier, the cliffs to the north of this wall, at Easton Bavents in Reydon, continue to erode as fast as any other area of the Suffolk and Norfolk coast.
“This will reach a point where inundation occurs behind the current sea wall putting an onshore connection point at severe risk; for this reason alone, the Southwold landing point should be discarded.”
The council believes that offshore options are the way forward, claiming that the non-statutory consultation is ‘fundamentally flawed’ as it only offered onshore options for the necessary infrastructure.
For this reason, the council is requesting that a full cost benefit analysis of an offshore grid is completed, and that LionLink should not proceed until this is done.
In a previous statement, a spokesperson for National Grid Ventures, operators of the project, said that there is no ‘fully offshore solution’ to connect the offshore wind energy to the grid, and that power must be brought onshore somewhere.