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Proposed 1.8GW wind farm off Norfolk coast could see second substation

File photo dated 08/05/13 of a wind turbine. Photo credit should read: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

File photo dated 08/05/13 of a wind turbine. Photo credit should read: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Residents have had a first look at plans to build a second substation in their Norfolk village to service a new offshore wind farm.

The proposed scheme from energy company Vattenfall, to be named Norfolk Vanguard, would see 257 turbines built 47km off the coast at Great Yarmouth which would generate up to 1,800MW – enough energy to power 1.3m homes.

But many residents in Necton are unhappy about the prospect of a new onshore substation to service the wind farm being built near their homes – adjacent to another substation used by Dudgeon in conjunction with its smaller offshore wind farm.

Tony and Jenny Smedley, whose house on St Andrew’s Lane is the closest to the substation site, have expressed concerns about the scheme’s impact on the landscape and land owners.

Mr Smedley said: “The thing which concerns me is the huge carbon footprint which the process of building the wind farm and substation will leave.

“This is touted as the second largest wind farm in the world. How long will it take to pay back that carbon footprint?

“Necton has already been blighted by one substation, we do not need to be blighted by another bigger one.

“Also, what is the logic in cabling from the east coast right past the geographic middle of the county?”

Fellow St Andrew’s Lane resident Edna Greening said: “We have had dust, we have had noise, and we have had lights left on at the site all night at the Dudgeon substation. The last thing we need is another one.”

Other residents raised concerns about the impact on local farmers and the possible devaluation of homes in Necton.

Project manager Ruari Lean said the plan was in the “very early stages”, with a planning application unlikely to be submitted for at least another two years.

“We are introducing information about the company, the project and more importantly the process.

“It is incredibly important that we build and maintain the relationship with the landowners and the community to make sure that their concerns are heard.

“If there are concerns from other schemes, hopefully we can learn from them and put measures in place to ensure mistakes are not repeated.”

Vattenfall had a grid connection offer for a connection to the National Grid at the existing Necton substation accepted in August.

Of the substation’s proposed siting in Necton, Mr Lean said; “We worked with National Grid to find the most effective, economic and coordinated way to get the power from the farm to the national grid.”

Vattenfall will be holding consultations on the proposed scheme in another seven locations over the next two weeks.

Consultation documents relating to the project are available to view online at norfolkvanguard.vattenfall.co.uk

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