The UK government’s decision to approve the remaining 1.7GW of Iberdrola-owned ScottishPower Renewables’ planned 3.1GW East Anglia Hub cluster, off the east coast of England, is facing a possible judicial review.
Nature campaigning group Suffolk Energy Action Solutions (SEAS) has filed an application for a review, claiming the decision to give the go-ahead to the 800MW East Anglia ONE North East Anglia ONE North (800MW) Offshoreoff Suffolk, England, UK, Europe Click to see full details and 900MW East Anglia TWO East Anglia TWO (900MW) Offshoreoff Suffolk, UK, Europe Click to see full details projects was unlawful.
In a video posted on social media, actor and SEAS campaigner Ralph Fiennes branded the proposed projects “disastrous” and “a desecration [of Suffolk’s] pristine ancient farmland”.
While the wind farms would be located more than 30km off the coast, SEAS is concerned about the impact of construction works and permanent substations on local farmland.
“This is also lowland heathland. There is only 5% authentic lowland heathland left in this country,” Fiennes said.
ScottishPower Renewables says it is aware of the application for the judicial review, adding it will not comment further “as this is now the subject of ongoing litigation”.
Approval of the 1.7GW tranche of the East Anglia Hub was delayed from early January to late March 2022 to allow for more extensive consultation, including on wildlife protection.
The delay meant Iberdrola missed the deadline for entering the two projects in round 4 of the UK’s contract for difference (CfD) tender auction.
Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind project had its initial development consent quashed following a judicial review, but was finally authorised nearly two years later, also missing the deadline for bidding in round 4 of the CfD auction.