SAY NO TO SUNNICA
Yes to Solar...No to Living in a Power Plant
Say No to Sunnica
The Say No to Sunnica action group is not against solar, we are not 'NIMBY's' (Not in My Back Yard) but do not agree with losing our entire back yard to a scheme that is simply too large and too intrusive.
All the photographs of landscapes on this website are of areas Sunnica is proposing to put solar panels on.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
N.B. Statutory Consultation due to start 22nd September!!
The process for planning permission is not the usual local authority route. Due to the scheme's size of the project it is considered to be a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP); it therefore goes through the National Infrastructure Planning process and is ultimately decided by the relevant Secretary of State.
A diagram of the process and how we fit into it is below.
Sunnica are aiming to provide detailed plans and begin the Statutory Consultations on 22nd September 2020, running them through to 2nd December 2020. This will be your chance to view and make your views known about the plans, which they will submit to the Inspectorate.
Once submitted and accepted by the Inspectorate, interested parties can register their interest. ANYONE CAN REGISTER AS AN INTERESTED PARTY.
Once registered you can write in with your views, ensuring they are considered by the inspector.
Making A Difference
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
We want to ensure the countryside is preserved for the flora and fauna as well as for future generations to continue to enjoy.
TOO BIG. A normal Solar Farm size is 75 to 100 acres. Sunnica’s is an Industrial Power Plant, the largest in Europe at 2,792 acres, equivalent 2,115 football pitches.
INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE. The views over the landscape and the feel of the area will be changed forever with panels, batteries, fencing, noise and light pollution a dominating factor.
INEFFICIENT. Sunnica is an inefficient, opportunistic, 'hotch potch' design with panels littering the countryside in four sites with a pipeline over 15 miles long to reach the connection point at Burwell, criss crossed by many roads, railway, rivers, streams pathways and public rights of way.
WASTEFUL. It wastes valuable, productive arable farmland currently producing vegetable and cereal crops for a minimum of 40 years. To improve our environment there is a need to reduce the carbon miles our food travels and improve our food security as the global population continues to increase.
NEGATIVE FINANCIALS. The financial position of Sunnica is negative in their last set of accounts (-£181k). It is extremely worrying that a company with this financial standing is able to work on an Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project involving hundreds of millions of pounds to construct and importantly provision to clear up the site should the scheme go bankrupt during its planned 40 year life.
NOT FOR YOU, FOR PROFIT. This scheme will not supply sustainable energy to local housing, it will be sold for profit to large corporations and the national grid. Energy will be exported from the grid at cheap, off peak times and sold back at peak times, using the battery storage to generate huge profits from energy trading. It is not anticipated to create any long-term local jobs. There is no compensation offered for a reduction in house values.
DESTROY WILDLIFE. The scheme will destroy wildlife corridors, nesting and feeding habitats, which, once gone will not be easily recovered.
DANGEROUS TECHNOLOGY. The Lithium-ion batteries used in the three Battery Energy Storage Systems are potentially dangerous, currently banned in Arizona as they are ‘unacceptable risks’, due to causing two uncontrollable fires. The fumes omitted during these toxic fires are extremely hazardous to human life. A fire of this nature has already been experienced in Liverpool.
NEGATIVE EFFECT ON HEALTH. Particularly during construction residents, both young and old, with lung conditions such as COPD & Asthma are at risk from high levels of dust in the air that is potentially lethal to human health.
POOR SCREENING. Whilst Sunnica commit to trying to mitigate the damage done the by the scheme, trees and shrubs will take years to grow to the height of 2.5m to obscure the panels and deer fencing and even longer for the 6m high Battery Energy Storage Systems. This means that from the start of the construction it will be over 5 years before the planting has much effect on hiding this ugly blot on our landscape.
TRAFFIC CHAOS. Through the estimated 2 years of construction of the Sunnica site, the contractor will bring in Heavy Goods Vehicles, including abnormal loads, 841 staff vehicles. 1,260 staff will be working Monday to Saturday 7am to 7pm creating noise and traffic through our villages. There is likely to be many road closures, diversions and muddy conditions to endure.
PROPERTY VALUES WILL FALL. The opinion of local estate agents is that property prices in the area will fall reducing your property value. As an example, a house currently valued at £400k will cost you £40k at a 10% reduction and £80k at a 20% reduction.
See below for details of Sunnica's Online Consultations
You will need to register for the sessions at https://sunnica.co.uk/public-consultation/
Sessions are below, the ones in blue can be booked now by clicking on them:
• 14:00 on 10/10/20: The grid connection
• 18:00 on 15/10/20: Environmental impact assessments (including landscape and biodiversity)
• 14:00 on 17/10/20: Construction and operations
• 14:00 on 24/10/20: Repeat of Introducing the consultation
• 18:00 on 29/10/20: Repeat of Sunnica East Site A and Site B
• 14:00 on 31/10/20: Repeat of Sunnica West Site A and Site B
• 18:00 on 05/11/20: Repeat of the grid connection
• 14:00 on 07/11/20: Repeat of Environmental impact assessments (including landscape and biodiversity)
• 18:00 on 12/11/20: Repeat of Construction and operations
The way the consultations are being conducted means that you cannot communicate effectively with Sunnica i.e. have a two way conversation about their proposals.
You e-mail your question in which they will answer during the virtual consultation, but there is no opportunity to ask further questions or converse with them properly.
Online consultations are discriminatory against our older population, who may not have access to technology, which forms a significant chunk of the area’s residents.
The timing of the consultations means it is very difficult for people who work to participate. Our voices are not going to be heard.
PLEASE ACT NOW
We urge you to write immediately to West Suffolk Council/Cambridgeshire Council, the Inspectorate and your MP to raise any concerns you may have about the way this is being conducted, see addresses below, as they have been consulted on the nature of the consultation and have agreed to it in its form.
THEY NEED TO KNOW THEY WERE WRONG AND WE ARE NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT.
West Suffolk Council:
Chief Executive - Ian Gallin - email@example.com
AD for Planning & Regulatory - David Collinson - firstname.lastname@example.org
Or write to them at:
West Suffolk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 3YU or
College Heath Road, Mildenhall, Suffolk IP28 7EY
E-mail addresses for councillors:
Chairman Brian Harvey - email@example.com
Richard Alecock Councillor for Mildenhall - firstname.lastname@example.org
Louis.busuttil – Suffolk County Councillor for Mildenhall - email@example.com
May I also strongly urge you to write to West Suffolk and Cambs Councils via their Facebook website too:
To her credit, Lucy Frazer has written a very detailed letter to Sunnica, after holding a zoom call with her constituents. Matt Hancock is noted only by his absence, if he is too busy with COVID then this only adds weight to the argument that it should be paused until the world is back to near normal.
It’s only by making a collective noise that we will be heard and any notice of us taken – the time to act is now…before it is too late.
Quote of the Month
Pope John Paul II
"The earth will not continue to offer its harvest except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations."
We need funds immediately to pay for signs, banners and leaflets.
Your support is imperative to the success of the campaign which we need to win.
To ensure the decision is taken with full knowledge of the consequences of it, we will need to commission our own reports and experts, unfortunately these don't come cheap.
MAKE A DONATION
Sunnica East Action Group
Account Number: 76477268
Sort Code: 30-98-97