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Fears electricity supply could run out in parts of Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 11:05 03 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:55 03 December 2019

The need for more electricity has been highlighted by councillors. Picture: Ian Burt

The need for more electricity has been highlighted by councillors. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Millions of pounds needs to be spent to make sure that thousands of new homes and businesses around Norfolk have enough electricity.

Thousands of homes are being built at the Kingsfleet development in Thetford. Picture: Lauren De Boise.Thousands of homes are being built at the Kingsfleet development in Thetford. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

And one county councillor has said it is "a scandal" that the crucial A11 corridor is in danger of not having the power it needs to attract new businesses.

New electricity substations need to be built in areas such as Thetford and Attleborough or else there is a danger there will not be enough power to go round.

The concerns over the lack of electricity capacity in parts of the county are raised in a blueprint for what high-level strategic infrastructure will be needed in Norfolk over the next 10 years, called the Norfolk Strategic Infrastructure Plan (NSIP).

The Norfolk County Council report says that the 5,000 home Thetford Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE), also known as Kingsfleet, will use all of the spare electricity capacity in the north of the town.

Bill Borrett, Norfolk county councillor. Pic: Bill BorrettBill Borrett, Norfolk county councillor. Pic: Bill Borrett

And, with the Thetford Enterprise Park also being built on the edge of the town, more than 3,600 jobs could be created - so there is a need to ensure they have the electricity they need.

The report says £6.5m needs to be spent to build a new electricity sub-station at the SUE, while a further £1m will be needed to upgrade existing connections.

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Some of the cash has already been secured from the Homes and Communities Agency and the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

But there is a similar issue in Attleborough, where almost 25 acres of land is mooted for potential employment purposes.

The report states: "Early investigation has identified that there is insufficient electricity distribution capacity to support development at the site, which sits on the other side of the railway line and some distance from the existing substation."

And there will also need to be upgrades done at Snetterton Heath.

The council's cabinet endorsed the NSIP this week, when Bill Borrett, who represents Elmham and Mattishall on the county council, said: "I am pleased to see the issues of power for the A11 corridor is in this document.

"I think it's a scandal that utilities companies have not seen fit to bring enough electricity into Norfolk.

"There needs to be enough power in Attleborough and Thetford for business to relocate there."

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