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North Norfolk District Council set to complete u-turn on Weybourne windfarm cables

12:47 04 March 2012

North Norfolk District Council is set to abandon its opposition to buried cables to service Dudgeon windfarm off the county

North Norfolk District Council is set to abandon its opposition to buried cables to service Dudgeon windfarm off the county's coast.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2006

A council looks set to abandon its opposition to 28km of buried cables to serve a £1.5bn offshore windfarm - despite opponents branding it a “sad day for democracy”.

Last month, North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) decided it did not have the money required to fight an appeal by Warwick against its earlier decision to refuse permission for the cabling across its patch.

And on Thursday, the council’s development committee is being recommended to not defend the looming appeal and to “invite the inspector to grant planning permission”.

The change of heart has arisen because the decision to refuse permission for the cables went against the planning officers’ recommendation.

It means the officers could not defend the council at appeal - leaving members to do it and “very significantly” increasing the possibility of defeat and six-figure costs against NNDC, according to advice from counsel.

Breckland District Council has already allowed a similar application for 17km of cabling in its area, which would link the Dudgeon windfarm to a planned sub-station in the Dereham area.

Last month’s decision by NNDC to not pay to defend an appeal by Warwick was attacked in the immediate aftermath by councillor and local businessman Michael Baker, who voted to reject the cabling application.

He said: “The decision at full council was a sad day for democracy. The development committee decision was democratic and we have been told ‘this is not the answer we want: go back and think again’.”

But Mark Petterson, project director for Warwick, said: “You could argue the silent majority are finally getting their say. It’s not as if this area is unknown to this type of project. You have got an established underground cable route from Sheringham Shoal, which has gone in without a problem.”

Warwick has claimed the 168-turbine farm would generate enough electricity to power 400,000 homes.

11 comments

  • Newsflash. Why have they made a complete 'U' turn then ????

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

  • Why is it NIMBYs have to resort to talking about "brown envelopes of money" and suggesting corruption when a decision is made they don't agree with? The same few individuals against wind turbines yet again.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

  • Here's a thought, while we are contemplating the way spivs can ride rough shod over democracy because sufficient fools believe the twaddle pumped out by the IPCC and politicians; there has been another dead sperm whale washed up on the East Coast. Now, if sandcastle windmills, shoved in molehills, can produce enough vibration to irritate Mole into moving on, what is the vibration from all the windturbines cranking round and the electro magnetics from the cabling doing to the finely tuned ears of cetaceans? If wind turbines looked uglier we might not have been duped so easily into making fortunes for companies like Warwick on the pretext of helping solve an energy crisis-which is artificially created in the UK. We should be opening up our mines.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, March 5, 2012

  • What ever the rights and wrongs of this, surely the elected council members should have the final say rather than some unelected employees? Is this not the tail wagging the dog? Democracy must take precedence or we will have the situation where we effectively have unelected and unaccountable staff in charge which is wrong!!

    Report this comment

    andy

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

  • The only people who ever have the right to complain about power cables, power stations, wind turbines, nuclear power stations etc. are the people who do not use electricity. We are running out of gas, coal and oil. Our computers need to be powered by something!

    Report this comment

    Lady Norfolk

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

  • The long lasting effects of the pipelines out of Bacton are still visible on some fields in terms of subsoil disturbance-and for many years it was possible to see the effect on crops. One way in which landowners have been affected is the blight on the land- the exclusion zone distance-in development terms. I don't know if this was allowed for in compensation payments all those years ago, but where the pipelines pass close to residential areas which are now being developed for housing, the hidden cost to land owners is becoming clear. The same must apply to sewerage and water pipes, electric cable and pylons but without the large restricted area. The case for the major pipelines out of Bacton and Theddlethorpe was beyond doubt-but it was not a quick process. Private utility companies make money out of blighting the property of others, and they have rights beyond those of other businesses. We are all paying for this industry, at the very least we should expect that all the associated projects,such as cabling and sub stations, do not cause undue damage to the environment or financial harm to those affected eg as the people of Little Dunham would have been by the sub station.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, March 5, 2012

  • Though those talking about tragedy for democracy may have a point, NNDC would never be in this position had of democratically elected councillors adopted a little common sense when reaching a decision. Attempting to fight an appeal against buried cables on landscape grounds is so utterly ridiculous that the council is completely right to change its mind on this occasion.

    Report this comment

    Callum Ringer

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

  • Sorry ,but I can not see what the problem is to putting the cables underground after all we do have miles of high pressure gas mains running out of Bacton. What is the problem? I think an about turn is correct, The alternative is cables overland, at the end of the day the power has to come ashore somewhere , councillors, the choice is yours. .

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

  • nrg - I'm not sure what planet you are inhabiting where local government workers can afford to retire at "48-ish". And if you want to look for something "dodgy" then you might want to find out more about the shadowy funding and lobbying of the climate change deniers and alternative energy rubbishers to which so many correspondents on this forum seem to be in thrall.

    Report this comment

    Chris Booty

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

  • We hear time and time again "there is no money left" when services are cut but these same people want to spend it supporting poor decisions.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Monday, March 5, 2012

  • You think we live in a democracy? Think again...big money rules the world and even in Norfolk it would seem

    Report this comment

    billyboggins

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

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