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East Anglia TWO and ONE North Onshore Ground Investigation Works

Ground investigation works are planned to take place across the East Anglia TWO and ONE North onshore development area between March and August 2021.

These advance surveys are necessary to feed into the cable route and substations design and to gain a better understanding of the environmental mitigations required should the DCO application be successful, as well as to aid with the timely delivery of renewable energy to the area.

This process of early investigations is routine to support the design and suitable mitigation for the development should consent be granted and all works have been carefully planned to work closely with the ecological team and will only take place with their approval

The Site

The investigation will take place at various locations along the proposed East Anglia TWO and ONE North 9km cable corridor and at the proposed substations site within the defined development area. Boundaries within which work is permitted will be marked-out on the ground and all work is being undertaken with the permission of the relevant landowners.

No investigations will take place within the Leiston-Aldeburgh Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or Sandlings Special Protection Area (SPA) during the bird nesting season. There may be some very limited works later in the year in agreement with Natural England and outside the bird nesting season. 

The Investigation Works

SPR representatives are currently working across the site to mark out the proposed site boundary for the works to commence.

The work will include small teams of people investigating the ground at various locations across the proposed development area using different methods including, soil and groundwater sampling, heritage feature and topographic surveys. This is to assess the baseline condition of the ground to inform future possible design and construction phases.

The methods used will include ‘JCB-type’ excavators digging to around 4.5 metres and borehole drilling, using vehicle-towed equipment, up to 30 metres below ground level. For the geological investigation, at any one time across the site, there will be around three machine excavators, three borehole drilling rigs and a vehicle from which a ground penetration device will be used.

Works will take place in line with construction works detailed in the draft Development Consent Order; between 0700 hours and 1900 hours Monday to Friday and 0700 hours and 1300 hours on Saturdays, with no activity on Sundays or bank holidays.

Minimising Impact of the Investigation

Scottish Power Renewables recognises the critical importance of the local environment. In planning the ground investigation, the locations around the site have been chosen to minimise disturbance to the people, places and landscape within which the investigation will take place.

Ecological and environmental surveys, maps and plans have been consulted and reviewed to avoid any areas where there is any potential risk of ecological disturbance. The investigations will be undertaken with a team including an independent ecological clerk of works (ECoW) and an agricultural liaison officer (ALO). Individual locations will be assessed by the ECoW and work will not be undertaken if the ecological risk is considered by them to be high. In addition, the work near the Leiston-Aldeburgh SSSI will be carefully planned with the EcOW to avoid potential disturbance to wildlife.

Where the ECoW confirms that the investigation can proceed, it will be done with care and appropriate mitigation. For example, boreholes that may be drilled within 200m of the Leiston-Aldeburgh SSSI and Sandlings SPA, will be surrounded by noise barriers to reduce levels to background at key receptors.

For borehole locations, the depth will be shallow enough so as not to reach or impact upon the Chalk aquifer. No boreholes will be drilled within Environment Agency Source Protections Zone 1 (public water supplies).

No works are planned on Public Rights of Way (PRoW) and no diversions to them are planned. Some PRoW will be used to access and leave the site.

SPR recognises the importance of PRoW to the local community ,therefore any that are used for access (with the permission of the landowner), will have notification signs placed to alert users that they may encounter a vehicle, and be photographed prior to starting the works to measure any changes to them as a result of the work which, if required, will be restored to their condition before use.

Following consultation with Suffolk County Council Highways, traffic management systems and signage will be in place to minimise any disruption to local traffic for the duration of these survey works.

After the Investigation

SPR recognise the value of the information that will be gained from the investigations. We aim to make publicly available the information obtained from the soil investigation in the form of borehole logs accessible via the British Geological Survey.

If you have an enquiry about the East Anglia TWO and ONE North site investigation, please email:

 
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