National Infrastructure Planning AQUIND Interconnector Scheme

I have written to the Planning Inspectorate regarding the AQUIND Interconnector scheme being proposed to make landfall in Portsmouth.

Dear Sir or Madam

Re: National Infrastructure Planning

Aquind Interconnector Scheme

I am writing to object to the above proposal. I first became aware of the proposals in November 2018 and at the time (and because of resident’s concerns in relation to Land Interest Questionnaires they had received) I impressed upon Aquind and their Consultation Partner, BECG the need to consult with key stakeholders and residents in the city about the proposals extensively out of concern for the lack of clarity provided to residents, in respect of what affect this might have upon their property.

Shortly after this meeting I also raised resident’s concerns with the Rt.Hon. Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Whilst

I am aware that the Government have designated the proposal a scheme of significant importance it is evident that the scheme lacks significant wide ranging support, locally, particularly because of the upheaval it is likely to cause residents in respect of traffic if the development were to go ahead. Portsmouth is an island city and one of the most densely populated cities outside of London. To undertake such a scheme when the city is already pressed for space; and with congested road networks would be the wrong decision.

I am aware that Portsmouth City Council have registered strong objections to the proposal, and are being supported by other Local Authorities in the surrounding area who will also be affected, in particular Local Authorities which cover the AONB area of the South Downs National Park because of concerns about the impact such a scheme could have upon this unique space. I am also aware that there are other potential sites for this scheme’s placement which are unlikely to cause such significant disruption; and I would question why these alternatives have not been fully explored and considered.

This morning I have received numerous communications from residents expressing similar concerns (to the ones previously raised with my office) in respect of the proposed route of the scheme, and lack of clarity in and around this. Residents are particularly, concerned that the proposed route appears to be changing at short notice, and I would be very worried that previous lessons have not been learned by Aquind and BECG in respect of the need for clarity and transparency when consulting with stakeholders and residents.

Residents are particularly concerned at the harm and disruption it will cause not only to the local environment and wildlife, but also the allotments (in and around Milton Common – because of a last minute change to the proposed route) and the ensuing pressures upon the road network and the cities infrastructure if this scheme were to be approved. I understand this would cause disruption and exacerbate existing pressures for a significant length of time.

I would ask that the Planning Inspectorate consider these objections including my own very carefully. Portsmouth is a wonderful maritime city; with limited natural green space, which residents understandably wish to preserve for future generations.

Yours faithfully

Penny Mordaunt MP

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