07 AUG 2018

Coastal Scene Column - 3rd August 2018

"I wrote last time that I had secured an important meeting with Energy Minister, Claire Perry MP to convey residents' concerns on the Scottish Power Renewables proposal for a substation near the village of Friston. That meeting took place last week just as Parliament went into recess – with Councillors Geoff Holdcroft and Andrew Reid joining me as well as the Heads of Planning from both the District and County Councils. The proposed energy generation and transmission projects suggest that our small bit of Suffolk will be responsible for a quarter of the country's electricity supply in the 2030s. In addition to Sizewell C, the cumulative impact of huge pieces of highly visible infrastructure, with no additional local jobs once built, without changes would clearly be visible on our flat landscape and be unacceptable. As Scottish Power Renewables have decided to place their substation at the very end of their corridor of search in Friston, 5 miles of countryside will needlessly have to be dug up for cables to reach the substation and there may be multiple huge buildings. We spoke about other options that could reduce the impact, including moving the proposed transmitters elsewhere to other energy hubs. The Minister has taken this back to her department to consider carefully. She cannot express a view else she will have to remove herself from the decision making process. I will keep working with councillors and officials on this important issue.

Summer brings a lot of visitors to our coast and after a successful redevelopment of Bawdsey Radar and the ongoing work at Sutton Hoo, well done to the team at Aldeburgh Museum, who in partnership with Aldeburgh Town Council have received £747k from the Heritage Lottery Fund for their regeneration project. Of course, these improvements are important for local residents to enjoy what makes our part of Suffolk so special.

Finally, I'm sure the recent good weather has encouraged you to seek refreshment at your local pub, perhaps while enjoying the Felixstowe Carnival last Saturday. We have so many great pubs in Suffolk Coastal (over a hundred) – and as a dedicated constituency MP, I have visited every one. But I would like your help! I have the chance to nominate one of our fantastic pubs for the Parliamentary Pub of the Year award – and would like to hear from you which one I should nominate and why.The main criteria for nomination is that the pub are great at what they do. Please email me at therese.coffey.mp@parliament.uk before the 7th September."

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