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Date published: 22nd February 2018

North Norfolk District Council has welcomed news that Vattenfall, the energy group behind the Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm, has opted for a cabling technology which will reduce the potential impact of the wind farm’s onshore connection between landfall and the National Grid.

Vattenfall announced today that it will use HVDC transmission connections (instead of HVAC) which will avoid the need for a cable relay station at Ridlington or East Ruston. The prospect of cable relay stations had caused serious concern in the rural communities where they could have been built.

HVDC transmission technology also means a much narrower cable corridor both offshore and onshore, needing a 45-metre-wide onshore corridor instead of a 100-metre-wide corridor for HVAC.

Cllr Richard Price, ward member for Waxham (which includes the parish of East Ruston) and a member of NNDC’s recently formed Vattenfall Cabinet sub-committee, said: “The news that our communities have been listened to is to be welcomed.

“North Norfolk District Council has worked closely with those communities in putting forward formal responses to Vattenfall’s plans, so we are pleased that work has had a direct effect.

“The DC option will result in significantly less impact on the landscape in North Norfolk than the AC option.

“The width of the cable corridor will be narrower and there will be no cable relay stations built at Ridlington or East Ruston. Both of these facts were crucial concerns expressed by many people.

“There is still a significant amount of work for the Cabinet sub-committee to undertake to pass on the concerns of residents to Vattenfall and protect their interests.

“The proposals even in DC form will involve significant construction works in north Norfolk if the scheme is granted Development Consent Order approval and we therefore need to continue to put forward our considered views in support of our local communities.”

Cllr Lee Walker, ward member for Happisburgh, said: “It’s a very positive piece of news and it’s good to hear that a large company has listened to what people are saying, backed by the local authority.

“There has been lots of interest in the news among the community today.

“People are very happy about the support they have had on this matter from elected councillors and North Norfolk District Council as a whole.

“This is definitely a step in the right direction, although other questions remain about the delivery of the project – which is why the Cabinet sub-committee will be very useful as we seek answers to those questions.”

The first meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee with Vattenfall will take place next week and will include four councillors – Cabinet members Cllr Richard Price (who is also the ward member for Waxham which includes the parish of East Ruston), Cllr Sue Arnold and Cllr John Lee, as well as Cllr Lee Walker, who is the ward member for Happisburgh.

Discussions of the Cabinet sub-committee will be reported to Cabinet and local members as the work of the sub-committee progresses.

Last updated: 22nd February 2018