Reader Letter: Thriving community will be torn apart
- Credit: Robin Dawe/ Perfectly Clear Mark
I object vehemently to Vattenfall's plans to devastate the Norfolk coast line and swathes of our beautiful countryside by building the Norfolk Vanguard off shore windfarm and associated infrastructure.
My reasons are many, a few are discussed below:
The marine cable landfall area at Happisburgh involves engineering works including underground drilling at one of the most vulnerable sections of the Norfolk coastline. There are no maintained sea defences, the precarious cliffs are the only barrier between our community and the sea. One only has to study an Ordinance Survey map to see how much land could be flooded by a breach of these cliffs.
Most of the local roads are narrow, in a current state of poor repair due to austerity cuts, and are surely not capable of the daily pounding that they will take from construction traffic over the many years for this project, more so if the HVAC option goes ahead with its associated relay stations. Road closures and diversions and heavy goods traffic will make everyday travel much more difficult. The surrounding area is unspoilt and beautiful, full of wildlife and wild flowers, some of these rare and possibly endangered. Seals are often spotted swimming close to the shoreline, and on the beach. Sand martins nest in the cliffs. The local area to Happisburgh depends very much on tourism with the caravan park, camping fields and many holiday lets, all of which help local businesses prosper, and will no doubt be greatly impacted on.
The famous lighthouse at Happisburgh is a listed building much photographed and loved. It is Britain's only independently-funded lighthouse. This project puts the future of this iconic building at risk.
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The footpaths along the cliffs and through the surrounding fields, and the ever changing beach are used for recreation by walkers and runners from a wide area.
It is a joy for many to listen to the skylarks against the background rumble of the breaking waves on a sunny summers afternoon. Outdoor recreation is beneficial to ones health. This project will seriously affect the well being of those that enjoy this wonderful natural amenity.
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To conclude: The future prospects for this area look grim. Vattenfall is about to proceed on a project that will have an enormous and devastating effect on many communities along its path. It will cause local businesses to crumble along with the cliffs. There will be an increased threat to life, land and property from coastal flooding. What is now a wonderful, thriving close-knit community, is going to be torn apart and become a desolate wasteland purely for the purpose of profit and not green energy. May they all rest with their conscience if this project proceeds in its current form.