We are all aware of the immense challenges we face regarding energy and the need to decarbonise our economy. Extreme weather is becoming more frequent as our climate changes, and we have been left vulnerable to international events due to an overreliance on fossil fuels, driving prices up rapidly at times of crisis. The only way to counter this is to instead promote domestic sources of low carbon energy, such as renewables and nuclear energy.
From the outset, I have been open and transparent with BP, EnBW and Flotation Energy, meeting with them regularly and actively participating in their consultation processes and outlined my expectations that they would similarly take such an approach.
However, I have been incredibly disappointed to learn of recent developments in these proposals, which I was not previously aware of, and I have made my dissatisfaction known to those heading the project.
Countless residents have contacted me to raise their concerns about the impact of these proposals in Fylde, and I share many of these concerns.
These concerns centre on the proposals for the so-called Transmission Asset proposals, and their potential impact on local infrastructure and people’s homes. What was initially pitched to me the laying of underground cables to connect the windfarm to the National Grid at Penwortham, invisible once installed and connecting, has now morphed into proposals for two new electricity substations being built in rural Fylde.
These are proposals that I am totally against. The loss of Grade A farmland and the irreversible changes they will cause to the rural community in Newton, Clifton and Kirkham are wholly unacceptable. For me, it is telling that we have still not been provided with an artist’s impression of the substations, but I understand from a recent meeting with the Project team that the size and scale of is likely to be substantial. My understanding is that just one of these substations will cover an area equivalent to thirteen football pitches and will be over twenty metres in height.
In recent meetings and letters I have made clear my belief that residents must be able to scrutinise and feedback on these proposals now that we have a better idea of what they will entail. I am pleased that we now have that opportunity.
The project’s communication with residents has to date fallen far short of what I would expect, and it is key that we take this opportunity to make our voices heard and shape the future of the project.
Consultation meetings will take place across Fylde over the coming weeks, in addition to a series of pop-up events and an online session, with the consultation closing on 23rd November. A full list of events is below, with further information on the proposals and how can get involved can be found via https://morecambeandmorgan.com/transmission/news/13-september-2023/
In-person consultation events:
Thu 26 Oct, 3pm – 7pm
Newton, Salwick & Clifton Village Hall, Vicarage Lane, Newton-with-Scales PR4 3RU
Fri 3 Nov, 3pm – 7pm
St Anne’s Cricket Club, Vernon Road, Lytham St Annes FY8 2RQ
Fri 10 Nov, 3pm - 7pm
Fylde Rugby Club, Woodlands Memorial Ground, Blackpool Road, Ansdell, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, FY8 4EL
Sat 11 Nov, 10am – 1pm
William Segar Hodgson Pavilion, Coronation Rd, Kirkham, Preston PR4 2HE
Mon 6 Nov, 6pm - 7pm
Zoom – register via: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qNnS8ahOQzWIteA3MBtO6g#/registration
Pop up events
Thu 2 Nov, 9am - 1pm
St Anne’s Farmers Market, St Annes Road West, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, FY8 1SB
Sat 4 Nov, 9am - 1pm
Penwortham Farmers' Market, behind St Teresa's Church, Queensway, Penwortham, Preston, PR1 0DS