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Judicial review ordered over green light to wind farm off Norfolk coast

PUBLISHED: 14:01 09 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:28 09 October 2020

Vattenfall's offshore Norfolk Vanguard project promises to be one of the largest in the world. Picture: Vattenfall

Vattenfall's offshore Norfolk Vanguard project promises to be one of the largest in the world. Picture: Vattenfall

© Ben Barden Photography Ltd.

A judicial review will be held into the government’s approval of a huge wind farm project off the north Norfolk coast.

Ray Pearce, who lives close to where cabling from the wind farm would go underground . Picture: Ian BurtRay Pearce, who lives close to where cabling from the wind farm would go underground . Picture: Ian Burt

The High Court has granted permission for a challenge to the decision on June 1 by Alok Sharma, the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, to grant consent for the Norfolk Vanguard wind farm, which would have 158 turbines 47km off the coast of Norfolk in the North Sea.

The challenge is being brought by Ray Pearce, 60, who lives in Salle, close to where a cable trench for Vanguard and Boreas, another project being planned by Swedish energy giant Vattenfall, would cross over cabling from a third planned wind farm, Orsted’s Hornsea Three.

Mr Pearce said the plans for Vanguard, which would involve building a substation at Necton, near Swaffham, to connect the power to the National Grid, would damage Norfolk’s countryside.

MORE: Huge offshore wind farm gets green light

He said: “I strongly support the use of renewable wind power electricity which is a wonderful progression for the people of the UK.

“I do not agree with the exploitation of this valuable resource, by private companies, intent on building transmission systems that will be severely damaging to the environment they were supposed to save and will cause chaos for Norfolk’s people.”

Mr Pearce has launched an online campaign to help fund the legal challenge, which has already raised more than £2,000 towards an initial target of £8,000.

A spokesman from Vattenfall said: “We have worked closely with local communities right through the development of Norfolk Vanguard to understand the key issues and put forward the best possible design for the project.

“Our plans, including mitigations we introduced during our conversations with stakeholders, were robustly scrutinised during the examination process.

“Keeping this project on track is crucial in meeting the net zero decarbonisation target whilst supporting post Covid-19 green recovery and economic growth in the UK, which will give a major economic boost to East Anglia.”

Vanguard is planned to generate 1.8 gigawatts of energy each year, enough to power two million homes.

A spokesman from the Judicial Office said a substantive hearing into the matter was likely to take place after January next year.


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