'Cheated and very frustrated' - Organisation of wind farm meeting leaves Necton residents angry
PUBLISHED: 10:43 23 July 2017
Robin Dawe/ Perfectly Clear Marketing
Residents say they have been left feeling frustrated and excluded after a workshop that was intended to give an update on how plans for two of Norfolk's largest wind farm projects would impact their village.
Vattenfall hosted the invite-only workshop in Necton on Wednesday, July 19, to show four potential site options for an electrical substation and on the following day they held an open meeting to show the public the information they had gathered.
The meetings took place one month after it was announced that the substation plans had moved away from Necton and closer to a small hamlet named Ivy Todd.
But people likely to be impacted by these plans claim the company tried to exclude them from Wednesday’s workshop.
Nina Matthews, who lives close to the proposed site said she was “appalled” not to have received an invite until Jenny Smedley, leader of a local campaign group, had pressured Vattenfall.
“The workshop was in my mind badly organised and run,” said Ms Matthews.
Mrs Smedley claims Vattenfall’s initial list of 80 invites included only two members of the general public and the rest were land owners or people with financial interests in the project. Additional invites were issued after she raised the issue with the company.
Patricia Lockwood, grew up on Ivy Todd farm and said she had also struggled to get an invite and was refused multiple times.
“When issues were raised the group were not allowed to question the speakers or comment. We were just told to wait until the end. It was contrary to the schedule on the invitation where there should have been three opportunities for group discussion,” she said.
However, at the end of the meeting attendees were just told to write pros and cons on to small post-it notes.
“After this meeting, I didn’t feel any more informed, just cheated and very frustrated as there were no compelling reasons for siting the two substations so close to Ivy Todd,” Ms Lockwood added.
Mrs Smedley called the open meeting on Thursday “terrible”.
“At the end of the day the National Grid are at fault for telling them to come here, just to save a bit of cost. It is too highly populated to fit three more substations in without ruining the area for many people – it is hopeless.”