Stop AQUIND

THE FIGHT TO STOP AQUIND CONTINUES

Very rarely, if ever, does an issue unite people of all political persuasions, local and national politicians, and residents of all nationalities, religious beliefs, and social standings.

Aquind Interconnector is such an issue. Objections to it bound a passionate group of people together, committed to defending their city and its environs against the destructive unnecessary proposal. MPs and Councillors were unanimous in their criticism. Residents along the route are united.

BREAKING NEWS

MINISTRY OF DEFENCE INTERVENTION DELAYS AQUIND INTERCONNECTOR DECISION

Portsmouth, Hampshire – 3rd February 2024

The Ministry of Defence has intervened in the Government’s long awaited Aquind Interconnector decision. The BBC news website had the story but it doesn’t say exactly what the MoD’s concerns were in regards to the project. There is naturally speculation regarding the reasons behind this move, it could be security concerns around the data cable, maybe the upcoming election… nobody is saying but it seems unlikely it is related to the ground contamination in Eastney which we covered in our deep dive video (which you can watch HERE). Right now this “interference”, as Aquind frame it, brings with it cautious optimism.

Read our full break down of this news HERE.

OPEN LETTER TO CLAIRE COUTINHO, SECRETARY OF STATE FOR ENERGY SECURITY AND NET ZERO, FROM LET’S STOP AQUIND

Portsmouth, Hampshire – 9th November 2023

Dear Ms Coutinho,
 
Welcome back to your role as Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero. As you will be aware, one of the items in your in-tray is the re-determination of the application by Aquind Limited for development consent for the proposed Aquind interconnector.
 
The original application was received by the Planning Inspectorate on 14 November 2019 when Andrea Leadsom was SofS BEIS, who was quickly followed by Alok Sharma, who had to recuse himself from the Aquind interconnector decision in favour of Kwasi Kwarteng, who was followed (briefly) by Jacob Rees-Mogg and finally Grant Shapps.
 
With the exception of Mr Kwarteng, who took the decision not to allow the DCO application, all of your predecessors lasted only months in the role and may not have had time to study the details of the case.
Given that no less than six Secretaries of State have presided over this application, is it not astonishing that nearly 4 years later, the basic facts have still not been established?
 

The full response breaking down every issue in the interview can be downloaded and read HERE (PDF).

 

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT – LET’S STOP AQUIND CORRECTS CLAIMS MADE BY AQUIND LIMITED’S PR REPRESENTATIVE ON GB NEWS TV THIS MORNING

Portsmouth, Hampshire – 18th August 2023

Further to Aquind Limited’s PR representative Johnny Stonborough appearing on GB News last week, Let’s Stop Aquind (LSA) feels that it is necessary to rectify the statements he made.

Firstly, he referred (at 8 seconds in the clip on X, formerly Twitter) to the “unbelievable” amount of electricity that the Aquind interconnector would apparently bring to the UK. The nominal net capacity of the Aquind interconnector is 2000MW. For context, the existing interconnector capacity between the UK and France is 4000MW (IFA, IFA2 & ElecLink) with a further 2800MW already approved to go live in the next 2 years (GridLink & FAB Link). By the time the Aquind interconnector is planned to be completed, the energy market between France and the UK alone would be saturated with capacity from 5 other providers.

The full response breaking down every issue in the interview can be downloaded and read HERE (PDF).

 

RESPONSE TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR ENERGY SECURITY AND NET ZERO’S REQUEST

Portsmouth, Hampshire – 27th July 2023

On the 27th July Let’s Stop Aquind responded in detail to the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero’s request for comments on the matters contained in the Portsmouth City Council and national grid documents dated 28/4/23, from Viola Langley (interested party in the matter of the Aquind Interconnector DCO proposal), submitted on behalf of Let’s Stop Aquind. You can read this deep dive response document below.

The response can be downloaded and read HERE (PDF).

 

Aquind: Portsmouth will rally to see off menace of company’s plan to dig up city for energy interconnector project – Portsmouth News (ARTICLE)
Now is the time for Portsmouth to raise its voice again as we urge the government to turn down Aquind’s bid to dig up our city as part of its interconnector scheme.

Aquind: Government loses bid to block cross-Channel electricity cable – BBC News (ARTICLE)
The UK government’s decision to refuse permission for a £1.2bn electricity link between England and France has been overturned in the High Court.

Aquind wins judicial review to build interconnector meaning decision will be looked at again by the government – Portsmouth News (ARTICLE)
Aquind says it has won a bid to have a second attempt to build an electricity interconnector in Hampshire countryside and lay cables through Portsmouth.

Pandora's Box - The Aquind Interconnector and Contaminated Land

This video is a deep dive in to the issues surrounding the proposed Aquind Interconnector project and the legacy of contaminated land in Portsmouth. The proposed route for deep trench digging will be past or through some locations that are well documented to contain heavy metals, asbestos and more contaminants.

A full list of sources and references are located at the end of the film. At time of publishing, all effort was made to use the most up to date and accurate public information in the writing and creation of this video, and to reference all copyrighted material used/shown as fair dealing for criticism, review or quotation and for the purpose of reporting current events.

What Is the Problem?

Aquind’s proposal is to install cables, designed to carry 2 million watts of electricity, under Eastney beach and to dig trenches and drill tunnels from the landing-place, South to North, to connect the cables to The National Grid at Lovedean. Electricity generated in Europe could flow to the UK and vice versa. The construction of this project would mean many months of disruption and untold damage to the fabric of the city and along the route. Toxic material long-buried safely in landfill sites might be unearthed, further harming the environment in a city already suffering severe congestion.

Traffic chaos, causing much pollution, would negatively affect the people who live in, and those who would want to visit, Portsmouth. Let us not forget Portsmouth is the 2nd most densely populated city outside London.

The project is being imposed upon the city and South Hampshire by the Government. It was rejected by Portsmouth City Council and the various County and Parish Councils along the route when first proposed by the developer, Aquind. Following the local rejection, Aquind took their case to the Government Department dealing with energy supply (BEIS). They wanted the project to be given NSIP(Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project) status and then to apply for a DCO( Development Consent Order) thus removing all decision-making from local to national level.

The then Secretary of State for the Department directed that their request be granted. This was no surprise as he had previously been publicly very supportive of the scheme. This direction effectively took control and any decisions out of the hands of local interests. It allowed the developer to push on with the proposal, following legislation embodied in the Planning Act of 2008. Examination of their application by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) took place this year, its Recommendation went to BEIS in early June and in September a decision will be announced by the current SoS (Secretary of State) at BEIS Kwasi Kwarteng.

Read More About The Issues

You can read more here about the issues around the Aquind Interconnector project:

Latest News

Below are some of our latest news articles, you can read more news HERE.

MoD Intervention Delays Aquind Interconnector Decision

This week’s big news is that the Ministry of Defence has intervened in the Government’s long awaited Aquind Interconnector decision. The BBC news website had the story but it doesn’t say exactly what the MoD’s concerns were in regards to the project. There is naturally speculation regarding the reasons behind this move, it could be …

What Has Been Happening The Last Few Months?

It has been a strange mix of quiet in regards to the decision but a flurry of activity from Let’s Stop Aquind, Portsmouth City Council and the local MPs in response to the issues. Here is a quick update on some of the recent events. One of the key moments was the new Secretary of …

Setting The Record Straight – Let’s Stop Aquind Corrects Claims Made By Aquind Limited’s PR Representative On GB News TV

Further to Aquind Limited’s PR representative Johnny Stonborough appearing on GB News last week, Let’s Stop Aquind (LSA) feels that it is necessary to rectify the statements he made. Firstly, he referred (at 8 seconds in the clip on X, formerly Twitter) to the “unbelievable” amount of electricity that the Aquind interconnector would apparently bring to …

Press Releases from Stop Aquind

Press Release: Let’s Stop Aquind Releases Open Letter to Rishi Sunak, Jeremy Hunt and Grant Shapps: “IT’S TIME TO STOP AQUIND”

Portsmouth, Hampshire – Wednesday 1 March 2023 Community pressure group Let’s Stop Aquind has revitalised its long-running campaign against the Aquind Interconnector in response to the recent high court judgement in favour of Aquind Limited, which quashed the government’s original decision not to allow the project. As all parties wait for Secretary of State for …

Press Release: Let’s Stop Aquind Responds To The Judicial Review Judgement Announcement – This Project Must Be Stopped Once And For All

Portsmouth, Hampshire – 25th January 2023 While we are bitterly disappointed that the judgement has been made in favour of Aquind Limited, we will be redoubling our opposition to this project, which now enters a new phase. As a grassroots community group, Let’s Stop Aquind remains committed to campaigning to protect the environment of Portsmouth, …

Let’s Stop Aquind Demands Justice for Portsmouth at the High Court. Aquind Must be Stopped – There is Too Much at Stake

Download this press statement as a PDF On 20 January 2022, the then Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Kwasi Kwarteng, refused to grant Aquind Limited the Development Consent Order (DCO) it sought for the Aquind Interconnector – a decision that was widely celebrated in Portsmouth. The residents …

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