A record number of people attended a public consultation to discuss the construction of Norfolk’s largest offshore wind farm, and the potential environmental impact along the 60km cable corridor running through the county.
Energy firm Vattenfall wants to build up to 257 turbines for its 1.8-gigawatt Norfolk Vanguard project, bringing the power ashore at a landfall south of Happisburgh, and connecting it to the National Grid at substation in Necton, near Swaffham.
Vattenfall is running public information sessions to discuss its preliminary environmental information report (PEIR), which sets out the layout of the offshore and onshore parts of the project.
A public information session was held at the Wenn Evans Centre, Happisburgh, on Saturday, November 11.
Catrin Jones, from Vattenfall, said: “We’ve had more than 170 people turn up which is a record for the sessions we have been putting on. Most people are supportive of renewable energy schemes in general, but there is still a lot of concern about any potential impact a cable relay station could have in the area. We believe this scheme is the least impactful option for Norfolk.”
The De Fraine family, from Happisburgh Common, attended and Carolle said: “I have health concerns about what it’s going to mean. As a family, we have concerns about the possible relay station. We approve of looking for alternative forms of electricity, but wonder whether it could be put in a less populated area.”
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb welcomed the record attendance and said it was “good that the consultation was happening”.
He added: “It’s really important that local people have their say. People still have concerns in term of a possible relay station. Obviously, digging a trench is disruptive. We had a meeting in Ridlington and I would be up for another session, if people wanted one.”
Happisburgh REACT (Respect our Environment And Coastal Tourism) was set up by concerned residents seeking to raise awareness of the plans.
They are worried about the effect on tourism, access, and environment, and group member Penelope Malby said that, potentially, the proposals could mean six years of disruption for communities along the route.
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