Protestors are set to gather outside Suffolk County Council's offices today (Thursday)  to voice their opposition to plans to create new energy infrastructure in the county, warning a 'concrete coast' could become a reality.

Campaigners, including from action group Suffolk Energy Action Solutions (SEAS), will be protesting about power firm National Grid's plans to create a substation at Friston and converter station at Saxmundham to receive energy brought onshore from offshore wind farms.

The protestors are concerned about potential damage to the countryside caused by the onshore cables.

READ MORE: Campaigners seek judicial review of 'harmful' Suffolk substation plans

Instead, they would like an offshore grid to be created and are calling on the council to challenge National Grid to explore offshore opportunities 'more holistically'.

Fiona Gilmore, founder of SEAS, said: "The debate is around the question of National Grid’s plans for bringing a mass of energy infrastructure to Friston and Saxmundham and despoiling hundreds of acres of good farmland and rare heathland for its concrete monolithic converters and substations along with cable trenches criss-crossing the countryside from Aldeburgh, Walberswick and Southwold. A concrete coast is a real threat. 

"There are proven better solutions using offshore platforms, subsea cables and existing brownfield sites."

READ MORE: MP 'disappointed' at approval for wind farms and Friston substation

East Anglian Daily Times: The Friston substation will be linked to cables from offshore wind farmsThe Friston substation will be linked to cables from offshore wind farms (Image:, a spokesperson for National Grid said: “There is no fully offshore solution to connect offshore wind to the grid in any country.

"The power has to be brought onshore and connected to the grid. Our job is to carefully consider the most feasible options and present proposals for public consultation, which go as far as possible to address impacts on local communities, the environment and deliver for electricity consumers.

"The existing electricity grid was built in the 1960s and because it wasn't designed to transport renewable energy from different sources, or meet the forecast doubling in demand because of decarbonisation,  it must be upgraded.

READ MORE: Saxmundham news

“Sea Link and the other projects that form The Great Grid Upgrade will play a big part in the UK government’s plan to boost homegrown power.

"It will help the UK switch to clean energy and make sure our electricity network is fit for the future; carrying more clean, secure energy from where it is generated to where it is needed, lowering energy bills and helping to reach net zero.”

READ MORE: Suffolk news