Controversial off-shore wind farm plans spark heated debate in Holt

Norman Lamb hosted a public meeting in Holt to discuss the plans. Picture: Liberal Democrats.

Norman Lamb hosted a public meeting in Holt to discuss the plans. Picture: Liberal Democrats. - Credit: Liberal Democrats

Controversial plans for an off-shore wind farm sparked a public debate at a meeting hosted by a Norfolk MP.

Danish energy giant Ørsted hopes to build the Hornsea Project Three wind farm 121km off the north Norfolk coast.

The plans have proved controversial, particularly regarding the proposed cable route and its potential damage to the surrounding area from the laying of the cable, and the impact of an on-shore booster station in open countryside.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb hosted a public meeting in Holt last week.

Afterwards, he said: 'It was a good meeting. Lots of concerns were expressed, mostly about the AC or DC option, which determines whether there is a relay station in open countryside in Norfolk. There would be no station with the high voltage direct current (HVDC) option.

'I made it very clear that we expect them to do everything they can to pull out all the stops to seek to deliver a DC option.'

Mike Day, Ørsted UK media relations manager, said the meeting provided a productive forum for discussing outstanding concerns.

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He added: 'We have listened to feedback on the preference for DC technology within Norfolk and our technical team is working hard to see whether it is a viable option for this particular project.

'However, this decision will not be made until nearer to construction.

'We will continue to explore both potential transmission solutions as we look to mature the initial designs, and will continue to engage with suppliers to inform our ultimate decision.

'We thank everyone who has engaged with the project so far. We really value the feedback we have received, and have worked hard to incorporate individual comments, which have driven modifications to our final application.'

The project has been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate for full examination. It will then make its recommendation to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

If approved, a cable corridor stretching from Weybourne on the north Norfolk coast to an electrical substation at Swardeston, south of Norwich, would transport the electricity to the National grid.