May 21, 2012

Necton villagers launch campaign against substation

Eastern Daily Press, 21 May 2012

Worried villagers have launched a campaign to fight plans for an electricity substation alongside the A47 near Swaffham.

The 15-acre site near Necton is Warwick Energy’s second-preference location for facilities to connect the planned £1.5bn Dudgeon offshore windfarm to the National Grid.

Campaign leader Louise Willis said the village would put up as strong a fight as nearby Little Dunham, on the other side of the A47, which is Warwick’s preferred location.

That application was turned down by Breckland councillors, a decision upheld by a planning inquiry and backed by the Government, but could be resurrected after the High Court last month ordered ministers to review their decision.

Miss Willis said: “One of my friends has named her house Field View because it looks over the fields. It’s a tapestry and you are going to get this monstrosity in the middle of it all. The visual impact is going to be immense.”

She said her biggest worry was drivers on the A47 being distracted, and has launched an epetition and is going door to door to raise awareness.

She said many residents assumed the latest plans centred on Little Dunham, despite Warwick Energy holding a public exhibition in the village a month ago.

Project director Mark Petterson said Warwick was in correspondence with villagers, and the Necton site was further from houses than the Little Dunham site, and would have minimal noise and traffic implications.

He said the company will submit a planning application in late June, and added: “Really we need it resolved by the autumn at the latest and ideally before then. The uncertainty is unhelpful and it causes problems up and down the rest of the project if you are not sure if you will have a substation.”

View the petition at and see for information from Warwick Energy.

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