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Plans for giant windfarm near Wells

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 May 2010 | UPDATED: 11:17 07 July 2010

Rob Garratt

A scheme to build up to 383 wind turbines in two sites off the north Norfolk coast is to come under scrutiny in a nautical navigational review.

Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, has applied for permission to conduct a geotechnical survey as part of a bid to build two massive wind farms off the coast of Wells.

A scheme to build up to 383 wind turbines in two sites off the north Norfolk coast is to come under scrutiny in a nautical navigational review.

Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, has applied for permission to conduct a geotechnical survey as part of a bid to build two massive wind farms off the coast of Wells.

The proposed farms, at Docking Shoal and Race Bank and around 8 and 16 miles off the Wells coast respectively, would generate enough power for 760,000 homes and dwarf the company's existing 54 turbines at Lynn and Inner Dowsing in The Wash.

The survey is part of two wider planning applications, submitted more than a year ago, with no expected date for a decision yet known.

Plans to show the position of future works are currently on display at County Hall, and the public has until May 19 to make representations on navigational grounds.

A spokesman for Centrica said: “We are currently awaiting the outcome of the planning consent applications submitted in respect of both projects. We have sought to work closely with all our stakeholders from the outset of this project and we will continue to do this.”

The two wind farms are part of a range of steps being made to help the country move towards EU targets for a third of the country's energy to come from renewable sources by 2020.

As well as the geotechnical survey, the application will be subject to a number of other surveys exploring a wide range of subjects including shipping and navigation, geophysical factors, marine ecology and other mammal, bird and fish studies, cultural heritage, seascape and landscape.

In a separate scheme, campaigners are currently fighting against plans to build six wind turbines on farmland near Fakenham.

Renewable Energy Systems wants to install the 400ft high power generators and create the Jack's Lane windfarm on land between Syderstone Stanhoe and South Creake. A formal planning application for the scheme is expected to be submitted later this year.

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