Large energy projects to bring 'significant change' for Suffolk communities, report warns
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2006
Developers behind large energy projects in Suffolk have been told not to expect support unless the potential harms they bring to the county's environment are appropriately addressed.
Suffolk County Council's cabinet on Tuesday afternoon agreed a new energy response policy in light of the growing number of nationally significant energy generation projects eyeing Suffolk locations.
So far, those include the Sizewell C nuclear energy facility, Scottish Renewables offshore windfarms off the coast and a handful of solar farms near Ipswich and in West Suffolk.
Council chiefs said that more than 30% of the nation's energy will be generated in East Anglia in future years, and the policy will "maximise the benefits of energy development for Suffolk communities while minimising the adverse impact on them and their environment."
Conservative cabinet member for environment, Richard Rout, told the cabinet: "We all know that these and other renewable energy schemes , while they bring investment, jobs and skills that are incredibly helpful, are not without stark and obvious impacts with our communities and natural environment.
You may also want to watch:
"Projects will not be supported unless the harms of the projects, alone as well as cumulatively and in combination with other projects, are adequately reorganised, assessed, appropriately mitigated and if necessary compensated for."
Mr Rout added that the policy will help Suffolk "play its part in the UK government's 2050 net zero target," by mapping out expectations of developers such as mitigation measures needed on the environment, and infrastructure requirements such as road capacity.
- 1 New lease of life for fire ravaged town centre store
- 2 'Leisure will be back' - Beccles reacts to PM roadmap announcement
- 3 Man in 70s airlifted to hospital following fall from bike
- 4 Bid for £6m so towns and villages can combat flooding
- 5 Former mayor given honour after 'tireless' efforts to help community
- 6 Hospital first in UK to open vaccine clinic for people with disabilities
- 7 Motorists face 25-mile diversions with roads set to be closed
- 8 Decision to develop 33 homes in field deferred
- 9 Lockdown Covid breach and vehicles seized on 'busy day of action'
- 10 Woman in her 60s 'pushed' by man after dog altercation
The council's report said that "significant change for the economy, environment and communities of Suffolk can be expected," and added: "The council’s approach to date to energy projects has been largely transactional, using a development management model, testing each development proposal with the question; 'do the benefits for Suffolk outweigh the harm?'.
"Whilst this was entirely appropriate when responding to only a small number of large proposals, it is not sufficiently robust to deal with the succession of generation and connection projects, needed to reach net zero by 2050."
The policy is to be reviewed within the next two years as needed, to ensure it remains up to date.
Liberal Democrat councillor for Gipping Valley, John Field, said: "We are all in favour of clean energy I am sure, but not at any cost - that's the issue.
"My county division currently has two 50 megawatt solar farms predicted on 160 hectares of land.
"That's a large portion for a small parish, and one shouldn't underestimate the impact of that on your entire surroundings.
"It's a real issue, so I am pleased to see a policy that will see a way ahead on that."