Further objections against Aquind scheme in Portsmouth raised with 2 weeks until decision due
A FURTHER 28 objections have been made against a controversial £1.2bn scheme to bring electricity to the UK from France – with just two weeks left until government makes a final decision.
As reported, multiple Portsmouth residents and organisations – including The News and Portsmouth City Council – have stood their ground against the Aquind interconnector project that would see large cables installed across the city.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is set to make a ruling on the proposals by October 21.
And in response to his public consultation that was launched on September 17, 28 statements have been submitted to Mr Kwarteng.
Among them was an objection from Let’s Stop Aquind founder Viola Langley who said the interconnector would ‘create an environmental disaster in Portsmouth.’
She said: ‘The electricity from French nuclear power stations that the interconnector would distribute is not renewable energy nor is it safe energy - it is part of the problem not the solution.
‘Generations to come will be saddled with the costs, and risks, of decommissioning the power stations and fuel rods, as we are now dealing with the same issues from our ageing nuclear power plants.’
Central Southsea councillor, Labour’s Charlotte Gerada, added: ‘The negative effects it would have on the city's green spaces, infrastructure and residential areas would be enormous, causing huge levels of upheaval and causing long term damage to our wildlife, both at sea and on land.’
It comes as The News travelled directly to Westminster to hand over a copy of our open letter to Mr Kwarteng’s office at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This letter was also submitted formally in response to the consultation.
A statement from Aquind said it was ‘carefully designed’ to avoid overhead cables and ‘temporary impacts’ from underground cables being installed would be ‘minimised’.
It said: ‘The environment has been at the heart of the project development and has been fully considered during the planning process.
‘Our proposals have been shaped via feedback from the local community and stakeholders and we remain committed to engaging with relevant stakeholders moving forward.
‘Aquind interconnector will help reduce the impact of volatile gas and coal prices, which are the reasons behind growing electricity bills this autumn and winter. It will help reduce UK energy prices with estimated savings for consumers of several billion pounds over the first 25 years of the project’s operation.
‘The ongoing gas and other fuel price spikes demonstrates how important it is to have a diversified and interconnected electricity supply. The project will also help to integrate a greater proportion of non-fossil fuel energy sources and intermittent renewables into the GB energy mix, helping to meet the UK’s 2050 Net Zero target by reducing CO2 emissions by 40-70 million tonnes over the first 25 years of the project’s operation.’