A major energy infrastructure project in a Norfolk village is being made more compact, but locals opposed to the scheme have warned it will continue to have a “massive impact”.

Vattenfall, an energy firm owned by the Swedish state, have been progressing plans to build a huge wind farm called Boreas off Norfolk’s coast, with underground cabling linking the turbines to a proposed substation at Necton, near Swaffham.

The proposals sparked opposition from several local residents concerned about the industrialisation of a rural area which is already home to one substation.

Eastern Daily Press: Vattenfall's map showing where the cables from the wind farms would go.Vattenfall's map showing where the cables from the wind farms would go. (Image: Vattenfall/CHPV)

In an announcement this week however, Vattenfall said that thanks to the development of new cabling and “cutting-edge engineering”, it was able to reduce the number of planned converter stations on the site from four to three.

With a smaller required footprint, the company said it had also re-organised the proposed layout of the structures to make them less visible from the north and south.

Rob Anderson, a Vattenfall project director, said: “We’re using cutting-edge engineering that will help us to reduce the overall impact on residents, which includes minimising the visual impact.”

Eastern Daily Press: Rob Anderson, project director of Vattenfall’s Norfolk ZoneRob Anderson, project director of Vattenfall’s Norfolk Zone (Image: Vattenfall)

He added that the wind farm, which received 'development consent' from the government at the end of last year, would be “a great boost for the local economy, supporting jobs and growth” and that the firm would “continue to work closely with communities to make sure that lasting local benefits deliver for people in the region”.

But Jenny Smedley, spokesperson for the Nection Substations Action Group, said concerns remained: “While any reduction in overall size is welcome news, subject to the final design, the worst visual problem is the height of the convertor stations.

Eastern Daily Press: Jenny Smedley, spokesperson for Necton Substations Action Group.Jenny Smedley, spokesperson for Necton Substations Action Group. (Image: Jenny Smedley)

“This is what makes them impossible to mitigate in any effective way.

“Additionally it would be better if the Independent Design Review found a way to reduce the height of the converter stations, because while a quarter being removed is a good step, the 3/4 left will still have a massive impact on the local environment due to their height.

“We also look forward to more transparency from Vattenfall regarding how they intend to keep within the noise limits imposed upon them, noise being a huge issue to residents”.