Complaints about "very poor" relations between fishermen working along England’s Suffolk coast and offshore wind developers in the area feature repeatedly in official comments submitted about the 1.2GW East Anglia One project.
A substantial proportion of the "representations" made to the UK Planning Inspectorate in response to the East Anglia One consent application were made by fishermen and organisations representing their interests. Many of these express strong concern about the impact of cable laying on their businesses and refer to past and ongoing conflict between fishermen and companies involved in existing offshore wind projects, such as Greater Gabbard.
Taken together, the comments suggest that the developers of East Anglia One – Vattenfall Wind Power and Scottish Power Renewables – risk inheriting a negative relationship with the local fishing community.
Comments submitted by Orford and District Inshore Fishermen argue that "bullying tactics" have been used by cable laying contractors, while one fisherman’s representation alleges that existing wind farm operators in the region "continually prevent us from fishing the allowed areas". Several submissions contest that boats have been – and continue to be - kept out of much larger areas than are legally justified.
Overall, the fishermen express fears about the financial viability of their businesses, both during the project’s construction phase and its long-term operation.
A consent application for East Anglia One was submitted late last year, with the UK Planning Inspectorate likely to move ahead soon with its six-month examination phase. "Rule 6" letters could be sent out to parties that have registered an interest in the project next week, Windpower Offshore understands. These will outline the examination timetable.