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Proposals to extend Necton sub-station

Plans are in place which could see the controversial National Grid sub-station at Necton triple in size.

The proposals are due to be discussed at a planning and highways delegation committee meeting at County Hall on Monday, with two scenarios outlined for the sub-station.

‘Scenario one’ would see the construction of a new onshore project substation and the extension of the existing substation in an easterly direction.

Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, Necton. Picture: Saika Saraf
Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, Necton. Picture: Saika Saraf

The planning documents state 400kV cables would be installed for connection as part of the project and this scenario would be the same infrastructure as Norfolk Vanguard, a large scale offshore wind farm proposal.

Onshore work is expected to take approximately 24 to 30 months for the substation and pylon work under ‘Scenario one’.

‘Scenario two’ would see Norfolk Boreas Limited undertake all work as an independent project, rather than Norfolk Vanguard.

Necton onshore substation Picture: Google Maps
Necton onshore substation Picture: Google Maps

Under ‘Scenario two’, the same type of infrastructure would used as ‘Scenario one’ but the locations would be different.

The existing Necton National Grid sub-station would be in a westerly direction and the onshore project substation would be a “unique location”.

Modifications to the overhead line would also be necessary under ‘Scenario two’.

It is recommended the county council supports the principle of the offshore renewable energy proposal, which is “consistent with national renewable energy targets and objectives”, according to the planning document.

The paper also states the proposals are in line with the government’s aspiration to increase emphasis on energy generation from renewable and low carbon sources.

If both the Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas projects secure consent and progress to construction, the advantages of shared infrastructure will be realised.

The proposal could see a cable pipeline constructed from Necton to Happisburgh.

North Walsham councillor Eric Seward has raised concern of cliff erosion.

He said: “There should be a planning condition that appropriate sea defences are erected to protect the relevant cliffs from erosion.

“My understanding is that the laying of the cables for Boreas is in pipe work installed for Vanguard. There will, however, still be some disruption to communities while this work is carried out.”

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