2nd April 2024
Southwold Town Council’s review of LionLink’s EIA Scoping Report.
Response to the Planning Inspectorate dated 2nd April 2024

1. Cumulative Impact of East Anglia’s Energy projects
STC notes that LionLink’s Scoping Report has been prepared on the basis that it is a stand-alone
project, although it references the possibility of co-ordinating with other projects (Sealink,
Nautilus, EAN1/EA2), particularly with regard to the construction of a sub-station at Friston and
nearby convertor stations. What the Report fails to address is the combined socio-economic
effect of all these projects, together with Sizewell C and other potential offshore projects, over
an extensive peak period of 6 years or more on a relatively small area of East Suffolk’s Heritage
Coast which is heavily dependent on tourism for its survival. In addition to heavy traffic flows on
an ill-equipped road network and multiple major construction works, there is the inevitable
perceived blighting of the whole area (including Southwold) that will deter visitors and have
disastrous consequences for local businesses. We do not consider this wider threat to
community well-being and livelihoods is addressed by the Report.

2. Local Issues to Landfall at Southwold
2.1 Southwold is unusual in that there is only one road (A1095) into and out of the town, which
serves the busy High Street, Promenade and Beach, the Harbour and Caravan site, the Common
with golf, rugby, soccer and cricket clubs and the marshes as well as the Landfall F area. When
assessing socio-economic, recreation and tourism, the Scope should accordingly cover the
whole of these areas and not be limited to the area depicted in Figure 16.1 with its 500 metre
buffer to the scoping area.

2.2 The single access on the A1095 across Mights Bridge into Southwold is from the A12. Access to
Mights Bridge through Reydon on the B1126 from Wangford is not fit for heavy loads and
through Reydon on the B1127 from Wrentham is problematic when Potters Bridge floods with
frequent road closure. At peak times, Southwold welcomes 5000 visitors per day and the
Scoping Report doesn’t properly address potential traffic congestion presented by this single
access point which already serves heavy loads for Adnams Brewery, the caravan site and
harbour marine business.

2.3 Once across Mights Bridge, access to the proposed Landfall F site from the A1095 would be left
down Pier Avenue, a residential road, to the tourist hub of Southwold Pier, the Putting Green,
Klondyke skate park, the Boating and Model Yacht ponds and the Blue Flag beach with its Beach
Huts. Final access would then be through the Town’s largest and busiest car and coach park to
the adjacent landfall site. The Scoping Report totally underplays the tourist attractions in the
vicinity and the impact of traffic congestion, noise, pollution and vibration on residents, visitors
and businesses over the projected 20-month period of work on site at landfall.

2.4 Like many seaside towns, businesses in Southwold struggle to remain viable throughout the
year and we do not consider the Scoping Report properly recognises the negative impact on the
business community and its workforce if Southwold is chosen for landfall. Recruiting staff is
difficult given the age demographic of the town and high property prices, and much of the
workforce, in the absence of a viable public transport option, drive in; the access bottle neck
would be a further disincentive to workers. An inevitable reduction in visitors would have a
severe impact on the viability of these businesses.

2.5 In summary the EIA Report should include analysis to determine whether the local road
transport network has sufficient capacity and is in good enough condition to accommodate
LionLink construction traffic in addition to residential, business and tourist vehicles especially at
the busy seasonal periods. The Scoping Report should address the requirement for a relief road
from the A12 around Reydon to the landfall site which doesn’t require access over Mights
Bridge with the detrimental effects on both residents, visitors and businesses.

3. Environmental
Southwold has been one of only two recent recipients in Suffolk of Blue Flag status for its
beaches and there is concern that any disturbance to the shoreline and offshore caused by the
project might result in this status being denied in future. The scoping report should address this

4. Coastal Erosion
Southwold is partly defended from the sea by a seawall maintained by the Environment Agency
running north from the Pier to the northern limit of the scoped Landfall F area. This means the
connection site is officially behind a “Hold the Line”, but the Resilient Coast project and local
flood and resilience board is concentrating on funding for a plan to deal with the outflanking of
the Environment Agency’s seawall defences to the North. One scenario is a managed retreat
into Buss Creek which would flood any proposed connection station built at Landfall F. The
present seawall has to be shored up regularly by the Environment Agency to prevent it being
scoured by the sea and another concern is that the cable link into the sea would undermine its
strength. A new wall would cost many millions. Alternatively drilling into the rapidly eroding
cliffs at Easton Bavents would have serious environmental consequences. The scoping report
does not address these issues, particularly given the expected minimum project life of 40 years.