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Cables from biggest windfarm in world could go through Norfolk

One of DONG Energy''s windfarms. Pic: DONG Energy A/S.

One of DONG Energy''s windfarms. Pic: DONG Energy A/S.

DONG Energy

Miles of underground cables from what would be the world’s biggest windfarm could be buried beneath swathes of Norfolk countryside.

Danish company DONG Energy is considering whether to run the cables, which would connect its huge Hornsea Project Three scheme to the national grid, through parts of north Norfolk, Broadland and south Norfolk.

The company, which this week launched a consultation process over its plans, is considering whether it can bring the cables from the proposed North Sea windfarm, ashore in north Norfolk.

They would then run down around the perimeter of Norwich to the existing Norwich Main National Substation near Mangreen.

DONG Energy, which says the proposed windfarm will be capable of providing enough power to meet the average daily needs of more than two million homes, has started the early stages of consultation over the project.

DONG Energy''s Horns Rev offshore windfarm. Pic: DONG Energy A/S. DONG Energy''s Horns Rev offshore windfarm. Pic: DONG Energy A/S.

That consultation includes seeking comments over how it could affect the public and the areas in which they live. The consultation will explore the impact on the environment, such as on wildlife and on the landscape; the impact on commercial activities such as fishing and the impact while construction is done.

Norman Lamb, North Norfolk MP, said it was essential that the process was open and that people got involved in the consultation.

He said: “We have had these already, with the Sheringham Shoals and the Dugeon wind farms and some processes have been handled better than others.

“There will be some people who find that the proposal impacts on their homes or gardens and they will have legitimate concerns.

The Scroby Sands Wind Farm, a mile and half off the coast at Great Yarmouth, consists of 30 turbines. The Scroby Sands Wind Farm, a mile and half off the coast at Great Yarmouth, consists of 30 turbines.

“Where it goes under the countryside, it appears cables can be put in without any permanent lasting damage, but there can be issues of compensation which will need to be sorted out properly.

“The most important thing is that there is openness and engagement with the public.”

A series of consultation events have been set up, when people will be able to look at information about the proposals and comment on the plans.

Consultation will also be done with other stakeholders, including councils, owners, tenants and occupiers of the land where the cables would be buried.

A spokesman for DONG Energy said: “Subject to securing the necessary consents, it is envisaged that the wind farm would be built between 2022 and 2025. With a maximum output of 2.4 gigawatts, it would be capable of supplying the electricity needs of well over two million UK homes.

“The project is at an early ‘pre-application’ stage and we are currently assessing potential routes within a scoping area for a series of underground cables which would connect the windfarm to the national grid system near Norwich, via an onshore substation. “DONG Energy adopts best practice for all its projects and, in addition to statutory consultation, we will be providing opportunities for local people to meet with us, to ask questions and comment on our plans.”

• What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email EDPletters@archant.co.uk

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