Bigger plans for windfarm off Cromer

A major windfarm project off north Norfolk is seeking to pack scores more turbines into its planned site.The Dudgeon scheme 18 miles off Cromer could now have up to 168 towers instead of the 60 to 100 originally earmarked for the area.

A major windfarm project off north Norfolk is seeking to pack scores more turbines into its planned site.

The Dudgeon scheme 18 miles off Cromer could now have up to 168 towers instead of the 60 to 100 originally earmarked for the area.

It means the farm will punch out more power - for 400,000 homes rather than 250,000 - but bosses have assured that it will not harm the environment.

The project, due to start operating into life in 2013, has previously drawn concerns from fishermen, who say it is an important spot for crab migration. Other offshore windfarms have sparked worries about the danger of birds being hit by the spinning blades.

Warwick Energy executive director Mark Petterson said: 'As long as we keep the footprint the same we can cram more turbines in.

'Our surveys so far show very little fishing and bird activity in the area, because it is in 20-25m deep water than on sandbanks,' he added.

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This weekend exhibitions at Cromer and Sheringham will outline the plans and try to explain its details and impact.

Photo-montages would show the biggest possible turbines - up to 200m tall and producing 10MW of power - though it was likely they would end up being smaller, said Mr Petterson.

The turbines could be made out on the horizon on a clear day, but otherwise were not visible from the coast.

Surveys had shown the 25 sq km site was technically viable and environmentally acceptable, and now Warwick Energy was doing a full external consultation including seeking public feedback, ahead of an application for consent later this year.

The exhibition, where senior staff including Mr Petterson will be on hand to answer queries, is at the Cromer Hotel de Paris on Sunday from 1pm to 8pm, and Sheringham Little Theatre on Monday from 11am to 8pm.