Plans for windfarm cabling in north Norfolk put on hold

Controversial proposals for the installation of an underground cable system which would run through 14 north Norfolk villages have been put on hold because of a late influx of objections to the scheme.

The plans from Dudgeon Offshore Wind Ltd, which were set to be discussed by North Norfolk District Council's development control committee on Thursday are for the construction of an underground cable system from Weybourne to Great Ryburgh.

They are part of a larger project, routing the cable to Little Dunham, near Swaffham, for the �1.3bn Dudgeon Offshore WindFarm which will be 32km off Cromer.

The cabling would enable connection onto the National Grid and would cross the public highway in 20 locations in north Norfolk, as well an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty between Weybourne and Letheringsett, and the Glaven Valley and Great Ryburgh Conservation Areas.

Jo Medler, senior planning officer with the district council, said: 'We have had 16 last emails and objections, and issues have been raised which require further consideration.'

The proposals have been amended to take consideration of the impact on farming land, drainage systems and site access, but there have still been objections from parish councils in Kelling, Gunthorpe, Fulmodeston, Stibbard and Ryburgh.

Warwick Energy, who are the green energy company overseeing the plans for the offshore windfarm, saw its application to build a substation at Little Dunham as part of the project, turned down by Breckland Council following widespread opposition from the community.

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Mark Petterson, project manager for the Dudgeon wind farm, said though that they hoped to lodge an appeal before Christmas.

'We are still very hopeful,' Mr Petterson said. 'We were surprised by the refusal and we don't think the grounds (for refusal) will stand up to much scrutiny. We don't want it to drag on, but we want to make sure it is a thorough document.'

Councillors rejected the sub station application following a tense three-hour meeting because of the harm it could do to the landscape

They felt the proposed landscaping, including an earth mound and extensive planting, would not outweigh the damage done.