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Date published: 24th February 2020

North Norfolk District Council, working in partnership with East Suffolk Council, have taken the initiative to express concerns about the impact of proposed onshore National Grid cable connections and wider implications for the District in a letter addressed to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Under proposed plans, the North Norfolk and East Suffolk local authority areas will see approximately 40% of the UK’s offshore wind generation pass through their districts, having achieved landfall in their districts and then connecting with National Grid infrastructure via onshore cable connections.

North Norfolk District Council has positively embraced offshore wind developments in the North Sea, welcoming the move towards increasing generating capacity in renewable energy and recognising the vital national importance of moving towards a zero-carbon economy by 2050 - having been the first council in Norfolk to declare a Climate Emergency, coupled with the positive implementation of a Green Agenda, environmental plans and renewable energy alternatives being at the forefront of future plans for north Norfolk.

However, the Council shares the concerns of local residents, tourism and agricultural businesses that the number of cable corridors and grid related infrastructures now being proposed by offshore wind developments would cause intrusive and avoidable impacts on the District. The letter, penned to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Energy, proposes that the Government explore the development of an Offshore Ring Main, to minimise the construction impacts on the coastal region in the short term and to rationalise grid connections for greater efficiency in the long term.  An Offshore Ring Main would connect to the National Grid through one single cable connection, potentially saving the North Norfolk countryside from widespread infrastructure works delivered over many years.

Leader of the Council, Cllr. Sarah Bütikofer said “We are the guardians of this beautiful area, and we have an important role to play in balancing the needs of addressing the immediate climate threat, with protecting the North Norfolk countryside and community. We need to find smarter ways of working together for the benefit of all’’

Last updated: 24th February 2020