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Questions continue to be asked about wind farm sub-station in Necton

PUBLISHED: 18:00 16 March 2018

Protest in Necton. Picture: Jenny Smedley

Protest in Necton. Picture: Jenny Smedley

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Questions continue to be raised over how a proposed wind farm substation will impact a small mid-Norfolk village.

Parish councillors raised numerous questions about Swedish energy company Vattenfall’s proposed sub-station development, during a public presentation on March 5.

The presentation was held in Necton, near Swaffham, to give the council and members of the public an update on how Vattenfall has been responding to feedback from a statutory consultation.

But when councillors were invited to ask questions, a number of them appeared to reflect how the community continues to lack vital information.

One councillor asked why landowners whose land may need to be accessed or used have not been consulted in the development process. Another, questioned why Vattenfall had not clarified why they have not investigated two other sites that would be better suited for the substation and more preferable to the village’s residents.

There was also a complaint about a recent newsletter that did “not provide adequate information” on Necton.

Communication has been an issue raised numerous times by the residents and a spokesperson for an anti-substation group described Vattenfall as “experts at using a lot of words without giving real answers”.

“At the presentations you ask one person something, and they pass you onto someone else, saying they will have an answer. They pass you on again until eventually you find yourself back with the first person, who still has no answers,” they said.

Ruari Lean, Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard project manager, said that the company is engaging with the community. “We have been engaging directly with local communities and interested parties for eighteen months and very much appreciate the local knowledge and well-informed feedback which has helped to shape the project,” he said.

“Our latest consultation report - explains how we are responding to the valuable feedback we received from well over 750 individuals and groups during Statutory Consultation. We will continue our open dialogue with local people as we work to develop a project that delivers home grown, green energy that takes forward the best technology whilst seeking to minimise local impacts”.

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