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Reader’s Letter: Norfolk landowners deserve better from offshore windfarm developer

PUBLISHED: 06:00 23 April 2017

Wind turbines are continuing to generate debate in Norfolk. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Wind turbines are continuing to generate debate in Norfolk. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2015

Dong Energy has recently held a series of public displays and consultation events in the areas of Norfolk which will be affected by the installation of the onshore electricity transmission cable for its proposed Hornsea Three offshore wind arm.

Vattenfall's search area for where undergound cables from the Vanguard and Boreas wind farms could go. Graphic: Rob McVicar.Vattenfall's search area for where undergound cables from the Vanguard and Boreas wind farms could go. Graphic: Rob McVicar.

In its scoping report and consultation briefing leaflet, Dong Energy offered to share the latest plans for the 200 metre cable corridor with the consultees at these events.

As the lawyer who worked for the developers of the two offshore wind farms so far constructed off the coast of North Norfolk, in so far as they affected onshore land in Norfolk, I found the quality of the cable location maps within the displays to be so poor as to render them ineffective, and I was seriously disappointed by the lack of engineering detail available to landowners and community representatives visiting these events.

The route of the cable installation should be made clear enough to enable the Norfolk landowners whose land and associated agricultural activities will be disrupted by this cable installation, to make constructive comment. This should include details such as the width of the working corridor across their land during the construction period, the estimated number of joint bays and surface features which will become a permanent intrusion into their land and the location of the booster station[s] which, incidentally, Dong Energy admits will generate noise.

It is proposed that the underground cable will be installed in a corridor running from Weybourne on the North Norfolk coast to a National Grid connection south of Norwich close to the A140 highway; this route will involve a large number of Norfolk landowners.

Surely the Planning Inspectorate, and the local authorities whose farmers and rural residents will have to suffer the inconvenience of the proposed works, can bring pressure to bear on Dong Energy to be far more transparent about its intentions in Norfolk.

Fraser Paskell

Senior Solicitor

Churchgates

Bury St Edmunds


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