Fears raised over energy station at packed meeting

Residents at the Community Action Team meeting in Stubbington about the IFA2 link 	           Picture: Kimberley Barber
Residents at the Community Action Team meeting in Stubbington about the IFA2 link Picture: Kimberley Barber
Picture: Paul Jacobs (142476-229) PPP-140824-032155001

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MORE than 100 people packed into a community meeting to raise concerns about plans for a £500m energy convertor station.

National Grid has put in two planning applications for the new energy link, known as the IFA2, which will connect the UK to France via 120 miles of sub-sea cables enabling electricity to be imported from and exported to Europe.

What the interconnector IFA2 site at Daedalus in Lee-on-the-Solent would look like

What the interconnector IFA2 site at Daedalus in Lee-on-the-Solent would look like

Two rounds of public consultation have already been held by the energy supplier, and a Community Action Team meeting was organised by Fareham Borough Council and held last night at Holy Rood Church in Stubbington to give residents more information.

Council leader Sean Woodward chaired the meeting.

He said: ‘Our planning committee will be looking at the effect on the landscape and views, the effect on ecology, noise, vibration and the impact on the airfield usage and health impact. Also any potential electromagnetic field impact.’

He said two applications had been submitted – one for outline permission for a 22m tall building at Daedalus and one for permission for cables at Chilling to connect to the national grid.

Mark Wyatt, principal planner at the council said the council had sent nearly 5,000 letters to residents in Fareham and Gosport to make them aware of the application, and of the fact they can submit comments until June 30.

He said the key issues that had already been raised are about the visual appearance, the station’s location, noise and electromagnetic fields, and the impact on aircraft using the airfield at Daedalus.

Mr Wyatt said National Grid had put together an extensive Environmental Impact Assessment, totalling some 20 chapters plus appendices, but the authority had some concerns about the station having ‘some effect’ on aircraft navigation devices and on compass points.

Residents voiced their disapproval about the station. Many were upset about its size and the potential impact of its electromagnetic field, and felt it should have been built at Fawley – the site of a former power station that has been sold to a housing developer.

Bill Hutchison, chairman of Hill Head Residents’ Association, roused a round of applause after he spoke.

He said the association was also working with the Peel Common Residents’ Association to get the application called in for an independent review. He said people were upset about its noise and size, plus raised doubts about its efficiency. He said: ‘We don’t want IFA2 here.’

To make a comment go to fareham.gov.uk, reference P/16/0557/OA