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Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects

Sizewell Nuclear Plant seen from a beach

Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects or NSIPS are large scale developments (relating to energy, transport, water, or waste) which require a type of consent known as “development consent”.


The Planning Act 2008 introduced a new development consent process for NSIPs. A Development Consent Order (DCO) removes the need to obtain lots of separate consents, including planning permission.


More information about the Development Consent Process is available from the Planning Inspectorate website.

The Suffolk Coast has been identified as the preferred location for the delivery of a number of large scale renewable energy projects.

A new nuclear power station, Sizewell C is being proposed immediately adjacent to the existing Sizewell B nuclear power station at Sizewell village. In addition to Sizewell C, a number of new offshore windfarms are being promoted off the Suffolk Coast.

In addition to East Anglia ONE, which is already under construction, Scottish Power Renewables are now promoting East Anglia One North and East Anglia Two offshore wind schemes.

As well as the above projects, Inology is commencing planning on the Five Estuaries offshore windfarm, which is an extension to Galloper, while proposals for an Interconnector project between the Netherlands and the UK ( Eurolink) and another Interconnector project between Belgium and the UK (Nautilus) are also under consideration by National Grid Ventures.


All of the above have the potential to significantly impact on the natural beauty and special qualities of the Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). More information about the separate NSIPS in Suffolk is set out below.

1. Sizewell C

Sizewell C Decision (July 2022)

Following the decision to grant a development consent order for the Sizewell C project the AONB partnership have made the following comment:

The AONB Partnership has submitted representations at the key stages of the Development Consent process. 

The Coast & Heaths AONB Partnership responses to the four stages of consultation and the DCO submission are as follows:.

The AONB Partnership responses have been informed by the following expert advice.


You can also download the AONB Position Statement on Potential Landscape and Environment Fund for Sizewell C (PDF).

2. East Anglia ONE North

The Examination is now complete and Examining Authority are now developing a recommendation for Secretary of State.

The AONB responses to the East Anglia ONE North proposals are as follows:.

The AONB Partnership responses have been informed by the following expert advice.


3. East Anglia TWO

4. Nautilus Interconnector

National Grid Ventures are bring forward proposals for a Multi Purpose Interconnector called Nautilus.

The AONB responses to the Nautilus Interconnector proposals are documented:

5. Norwich to Tilbury (previously known as East Anglia Green)

National Grid’s East Anglia Green Proposals.

The AONB Partnership have responded to the National Grid non statutory consultation for the East Anglia Green project which can be downloaded (PDF). The AONB Partnership response covered:

 

  1. Impacts on the AONB (construction of underground cables is likely to cause significant harm to AONB purpose)
  2. Impact on the AONB from infrastructure in the setting of the AONB (ie infrastructure close to the AONB boundary)
  3. Concerns raised by the local community in relation to whole project, consultation processes and consideration of alternatives
  4. Cumulative impacts on the AONB from this and other projects

 

For further information please contact AONB Manager Simon Amstutz at [email protected].

6. Five Estuaries Offshore Wind Farm

RWE’s proposals for an offshore wind farm.

The AONB Partnership have responded to a consultation in the summer 2022 and spring 2023 relating to RWE's proposals for an offshore wind farm and associated onshore infrastructure. The responses cover:

  1. Impacts on the AONB of the offshore element
  2. Impacts on AONBs from onshore elements
  3. Potential socio-economic impacts on the AONB

7. North Falls Offshore Wind Farm

Proposals from North Falls Offshore Wind Farm Ltd.

The AONB Partnership have responded to a consultation from North Falls Offshore Wind Farm Ltd for proposals for an offshore wind farm and associated onshore infrastructure. The response covers:

  1. Impacts on the AONB of the offshore element
  2. Impacts on AONB from onshore elements
  3. Potential socio-economic impacts on the AONB

8. Sea Link

Proposals from National Grid.

The AONB Partnership have responded to a consultation from National Grid for proposals for an electricity transmission connection between Suffolk and Kent.

Proposals include convertor stations, undersea and underground cables for the purpose of managing the network’s capacity and meeting local and national energy demands. The response covers:


  1. A question to understand why this infrastructure needs to be sited at this location
  2. Concern relating to impacts on the AONB from convertor stations and cable connections
  3. Concern relating to impacts on local residents and tourism industry
  4. Questions relating to impacts on the defined Heritage Coast and
  5. Concern relating to the cumulative impacts when considered alongside other energy projects in the area

9. Lion Link (previously Euro Link)

Proposals from National Grid Ventures.


The AONB Partnership have responded to a consultation from National Grid Ventures for proposals for a new electricity link between Great Britain and the Netherlands. Proposals include undersea cables, a convertor station, cable corridors (landfall to convertor station and convertor station to proposed Friston sub station) The response covers:


  1. Questions why does all landfall options put forward need to be in the AONB
  2. Concern about impact on AONB from construction of underground cables during construction
  3. Concern about impacts on land use over underground cable routes during operational phase
  4. Consideration that convertor station should not impact AONB as alternatives are available
  5. Recognises concerns of others about proposed substation at Friston
  6. Concern about impacts on residents and visitor economy during construction