Up to 11 years of building work could be needed to bring wind farm cables ashore in Norfolk – sparking a call for businesses to be compensated.
DONG Energy is consulting over an offshore wind farm nearly 80 miles off the Norfolk coast, making landfall at Weybourne.
As part of the Hornsea Project Three development, nearly 35 miles of underground cables would be buried beneath the countryside, with a new substation – the size of 15 football pitches – near Swardeston and a possible booster station near Little Barningham.
But the work at Weybourne could mean phases of disruption for years, which councillors fear will hit businesses and tourism.
Sarah Butifoker, county councillor for Holt division, said: “Residents of Weybourne have already had two developers bring wind farms ashore here, and are understandably concerned at the potential significant impact on the daily lives of this new proposal.
“Whilst understanding that there is a national requirement for extra energy provision, they are anxious to ensure previous lessons have been learned.
“This development would most likely be built over a timespan of some eight to 11 years, due to the phasing nature of the government energy generation contract award process.”
The issue was discussed at a meeting of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee yesterday.
Councillors questioned whether businesses in Weybourne could get compensated.
Judy Oliver, county councillor for Sheringham and a North Norfolk district councillor, said: “I would hope DONG would look at some contribution district-wide.”
A spokeswoman for DONG said: “We can reassure businesses and residents that the works in the landfall area near Weybourne will not be consistent and will occur in relatively short periods.
“We will of course ensure the schedule minimises any impact to local communities and businesses, and as the project progresses will consult further with those affected.
“At this stage it is too early to commit to any form of compensation, as we are still assessing potential interactions and possible solutions.”
But she said a fund had been established for many DONG projects to support local communities.
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