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Necton will be linked up with North Sea wind farm, minister rules



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The Government has given permission for a huge new offshore windfarm off Norfolk, which will have ramifications for the Swaffham area.

Permission to Swedish energy firm Vattenfall to go ahead with the Vanguard field in July 2020 had been quashed by the High Court last year after an appeal at an earlier decision was lodged.

There had been vehement objections to the impact on the Norfolk countryside that would be created by the infrastructure needed to support the wind farm, which is in the North Sea some 20 miles off the coast from Bacton to Gorleston.

Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, Necton. Picture: Saika Saraf (54845099)
Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, Necton. Picture: Saika Saraf (54845099)

The power from the wind farm will be taken 40 miles across the county finishing at a huge sub-station built at Necton.

Today's consent was made by Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng.

The order grants development consent for this Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project comprising a proposed offshore wind farm with an approximate capacity of 1800mw.

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm. Picture: Vattenfall (54845109)
Thanet Offshore Wind Farm. Picture: Vattenfall (54845109)

A letter from 85 parish councils signed a letter to Mr Kwarteng in December pleading with him not to give permission to Vanguard.

Among the objectors to Vanguard were the parish councils of Ashill, Burnham Market, Burnham Overy, Burnham Thorpe, Castle Acre, Holme Hale, Narborough, Necton, St Germans, Thursford and the 15 Independent councillors on West Norfolk Council.

Responding to today’s redetermination granting consent for Vattenfall’s 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm project, Dan McGrail, chief executive of the wind farm industry body RenewableUK, said: "Today’s decision secures significant investment in much-needed new energy infrastructure at a time when we need to speed up the transition away from expensive fossil fuels to cheap domestic sources of clean energy.

Vattenfall wind turbines offer job opportunities here in West Norfolk. (54845106)
Vattenfall wind turbines offer job opportunities here in West Norfolk. (54845106)

"Building this major project will generate enormous economic benefits for East Anglia, creating high-quality jobs in our world-class offshore wind industry and the wider supply chain nationwide.

“To help the UK to reach net zero emissions as fast as possible, the Government has set the industry a target of nearly quadrupling our current offshore wind capacity to 40 gigawatts by the end of this decade.

"Giving the go-ahead to a major project like Norfolk Vanguard is a big boost to help us to get there. It also demonstrates to the rest of the world that the UK is committed to taking significant practical action against climate change.”

The application was originally submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration by Norfolk Vanguard Limited on 26 June 2018 and accepted for examination on 24 July 2018.

Following an examination during which the public, Statutory Consultees and Interested Parties were given the opportunity to give evidence to the Examining Authority, recommendations

were made to the Secretary of State on 10 September 2019. The Secretary of State initially granted development consent for the application on 01 July 2020.

However, following an Order of the High Court made on 18 February 2021, the decision of the Secretary of State to grant development consent for the application was quashed

and the Secretary of State subsequently re-determined the application.

The decision, the recommendations made by the Examining Authority to the Secretary of State and the evidence considered by the Examining Authority in reaching its recommendations

are publicly available on the project page of the National Infrastructure Planning website.

https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/eastern/norfolk-vanguard/



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