Necton campaigners against wind farms learn ‘more disturbing information’ at demonstration

Protesters out in force in Necton. Picture: Jenny Smedley

Protesters out in force in Necton. Picture: Jenny Smedley - Credit: Archant

Residents held a demonstration instead of attending a public consultation for two of Norfolk's largest offshore wind farms.

People in Necton, near Swaffham, claim they have been lied to since plans were announced for the onshore infrastructure that supports Vattenfall's Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas wind farms.

In a show of defiance they did not take part in the public consultation at Necton community centre on Friday, November 10. Instead, they stood outside holding banners.

The energy company recently published a Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) which justifies the location of planned infrastructure, based on the least impact on the environment.

Part of this infrastructure is a substation that will connect to an existing National Grid substation close to Necton for electricity transmission.

Jenny Smedley, leader of the Necton Substations Action Group, said: 'We stood on the pavement outside and all the vehicles going by were pipping us, which shows the village is right behind us.

'We found out a lot more disturbing information on Friday. One of the options is to put lightning conductors on every building on the 37-acre site, and each one will be 25m high. They won't say how many buildings there will be.

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'We also learned that the National Grid compound could increase by about 22 acres.'

She said the group had fundraised in the village to pay utilities company, BLB to represent them with Vattenfall, and also in their report, as part of the current consultation.

Mrs Smedley added: 'One good thing is that Breckland council did put a strict noise enforcement on the Dudgeon substation when it was built. It means that Vattenfall cannot exceed that noise level.'

Ruari Lean, Vattenfall's project manager for Norfolk Vanguard, said: 'Where we have received constructive, evidenced feedback this has strongly influenced the current set of proposals set out in the PEIR, and we'd like to see more.

'Feedback that has influenced the design includes proposing a site that minimises the impact on Necton by locating the substation to the east of the existing National Grid substation.'

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