Search

‘There has to be a fair deal’ - MP Norman Lamb says Norfolk should see the benefits of wind farm infrastructure

PUBLISHED: 16:26 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:37 07 September 2017

Norman Lamb MP. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Norman Lamb MP. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Archant

MP Norman Lamb said residents deserve a “fair deal” if plans to build two wind farms off the north Norfolk coast, including one of the biggest in the world, are approved.

The impact of the offshore wind farms proposed by Vattenfall is likely to felt across the majority of North and Mid-Norfolk, with cabling potentially running from the coast, near Happisburgh, down to Necton, near Swaffham.

Mr Lamb said: “Norfolk and North Norfolk in particular is a critical part of the country in terms of infrastructure and they often have the impact but not benefit, such as with broadband and mobile phone signal, rural areas lose out. There has to be a fair deal here.”

He chaired a meeting at Witton and Ridlington Village Hall last month and called the turn out “extraordinary”.

A key point was the method of energy transmission used by Vattenfall. The first option is high voltage alternating current (HVAC), requiring relay stations built inland and a large amount of underground cables. The second option is high voltage direct current (HVDC), which does not require relay stations and involves fewer cables.

Mr Lamb said: “I stress that I don’t have expertise on the science of this but the residents are very concerned that there would be substantial industrial infrastructure in the middle of open countryside if they use the AC option.”

He added that if the DC option is possible and technology is available then there is a strong case for it to be used. “I’m keen to press the company to pursue the DC option if it can be delivered,” he said.

Ruari Lean, project manager for Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard Project said both options are viable and cost effective and noted a number of positives to the DC solution. But both require the construction of a large electrical substation and if the DC option is picked that substation would be larger and taller than for AC.

As a result DC appears to be a better solution for North Norfolk but would be problematic for Necton in Mid-Norfolk, where the larger substation would be built.

Vattenfall will resume public consultations in October and Mr Lamb will also hold further sessions as the project develops.

“It’s a major national infrastructure project and the concerns of local people need to be considered,” he said.

How will Norfolk benefit according to Vattenfall?

Ruari Lean, project manager for Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard Project said: “We are very much listening to the benefits and opportunities that people feel are important.

“Vattenfall has a good record elsewhere in the UK of working in partnership with local communities to meet those needs and maximise outcomes. What we have been told by Norfolk communities to date is that job creation and skills development are important.

“Its early days, but we have started to support this across the County and East Anglia, with local contracts already going to companies such as Norwich based Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Cefas based in Lowestoft.

“We are also looking longer term by developing a skills strategy, this will ensure that our vision for maximising local skills development and employment is appreciated by our partners and supply chain. We would be keen to work with Mr Lamb to secure these potentially significant benefits.”

Other news

A topping out ceremony in Wells has heralded an important milestone in the multi-million pound renovation of its arts and heritage centre.

16:40

A large plot of land has been returned to an historic estate after being acquired by the National Trust.

After months of speculation, planning and renovation the latest addition to Dereham’s High Street has opened.

Frustrated Dereham residents have called for traffic restrictions to be introduced in the town after a lorry caused damage to a building.

Most Read

Police have warned drivers to be careful on the icy roads after a car overturned in Great Massingham.

Read more
16:40

A large plot of land has been returned to an historic estate after being acquired by the National Trust.

Read more
National Trust

A topping out ceremony in Wells has heralded an important milestone in the multi-million pound renovation of its arts and heritage centre.

Read more
Heritage Lottery Fund
11:32

A nature haven which formed the backdrop to a primetime BBC TV show has been opened as Norfolk’s newest function venue.

Read more
BBC

Drivers are facing travel delays as Norfolk wakes up to freezing temperatures.

Read more
Dan Holley

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 1°C

min temp: 0°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter