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‘It will desecrate the landscape’ - celebrities speak out against offshore wind farm effects

PUBLISHED: 06:30 05 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:34 05 March 2020

One of Vattenfall's windfarms, at Kentish Flats. Pic: Robin Dawe/ Perfectly Clear Marketing

One of Vattenfall's windfarms, at Kentish Flats. Pic: Robin Dawe/ Perfectly Clear Marketing

Robin Dawe/ Perfectly Clear Marketing

More than a dozen celebrities are calling for action to prevent energy firms being allowed to “desecrate East Anglian landscapes in the name of clean energy.”.

The two routes for new cable corridors for offshore windfarms across Norfolk. Image: ArchantThe two routes for new cable corridors for offshore windfarms across Norfolk. Image: Archant

Three wind farms with enough energy to power more than four million homes are planned off the East Anglian coast.

They will be the biggest offshore wind farms in the world and will need two trenches up to 60 kilometres long to be carved through Norfolk's countryside.

But the actor and comedian Griff Rhys Jones is among 19 celebrities with homes in Suffolk to have spoken out against the effect infrastructure connected to the offshore farms will have on the Norfolk and Suffolk landscape.

In a letter sent to The Times newspaper the group say that the "piecemeal, outdated approach" to green energy infrastructure would result in the "destruction of ancient woodland [and] rare heathland habitats" across the two counties.

Griff Rhys Jones Credit: Supplied by Gaby Jerrard PRGriff Rhys Jones Credit: Supplied by Gaby Jerrard PR

They say: "We must not let energy firms desecrate East Anglian landscapes in the name of clean energy."

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Aside from Mr Rhys Jones, others who have put their name to the letter include the artist Maggi Hambling, classical music TV presenter Sir Humphrey Burton and the poet Lavinia Greenlaw.

Thousands of giant turbines are due to be built in the North Sea over the next decade, as the windfarms Vanguard, Boreas and Hornsea 3 are constructed.

Necton Substations Action Group are campaigning for an Offshore Ring Main. Picture: Dan BennettNecton Substations Action Group are campaigning for an Offshore Ring Main. Picture: Dan Bennett

The windfarms will require two trenches to be dug from Weybourne to Swardeston, and a second from Happisburgh to Necton.

Large substations will also be constructed in Necton and Swardeston.

Villages on the path of cable trenches include Happisburgh, Cawston, Oulton, Weybourne and Swardeston in Norfolk and Thorpeness, Aldringham and Knodishall in Suffolk.

The work will affect more than 200 landowners and the worst affected roads are due to see significant increases in HGV traffic.

Fearful of the destruction the cable corridors and sub stations will cause, campaigners have called on developers to instead use an Offshore Ring Main (ORM), an alternative scheme, which would see substations placed on platforms in the sea and connected using a marine cable.

In November 2019, a petition urging the government to compel the companies behind the wind farms to use an ORM gathered almost 1,000 signatures.


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