Plans for Wells wind energy base to go on show

Revised plans for an onshore operations base which is needed to maintain the wind farm being constructed off the north Norfolk coast will be exhibited on Monday.

The 88-turbine Sheringham Shoal project, located 10-15 miles offshore, is due to be fully operational early next year.

Norwegian-owned developer Scira Offshore Energy has chosen Wells as its operations base and intends to station its technical and maintenance crews two miles inland at Egmere.

In December, North Norfolk District Council approved Scira's application to build a two-storey office building and a warehouse at the North Creake Airfield Business Park at Bunkers Hill.

The proposals included a 500sqm storage warehouse and 800sqm of office space to accommodate about 30 full-time staff and 42 technicians who will service the 88-turbine wind farm on rolling shifts.

But, in response to a number of concerns, the planned development site has been moved to the opposite side of the B1105 road, on land owned by the Walsingham Estate.

The amended plans will be displayed at a drop-in exhibition between 1pm and 7pm on Monday at the Sheringham Shoal Information Point on Staithe Street in Wells.

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In a letter circulated to surrounding households, Scira general manager Einar Stromsv�g lists a number of 'practical issues' which had arisen since the planning consent was granted:

? The need to acquire rights from a further landowner in order to meet planning conditions required by highways officers.

? Concerns about safe entry and exit for traffic moving to and from the unrestricted B1105.

? The health and safety risks of sharing the entrance and internal estate roads with a containerised store and workshop at the rear of the site.

? Concerns from nearby houses about anticipated disturbance, with the site required to operate 24/7.

? The limitations of the site in respect of future expansion opportunities.

In his letter, Mr Stromsv�g says: 'After careful consideration, we have, therefore, decided to seek planning consent to build our Operation and Maintenance Base on a site on the opposite side of the B1105 road at Egmere.

'This proposed site will be accessed from Edgar Road and, after considerable research, we believe that the characteristics of the site will not create any of the concerns which have been frustrating our plans for North Creake Airfield Business Park.'

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