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How will the world’s largest offshore wind farm impact Norfolk?

PUBLISHED: 06:00 02 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:17 03 August 2017

Dong Energy's wind farm off the Cumbrian coast. Picture: Dong Energy

Dong Energy's wind farm off the Cumbrian coast. Picture: Dong Energy

DONG Energy

An in-depth environmental assessment has been released by Dong Energy, revealing new details about the infrastructure that will be built to support their offshore wind farm - which could be the biggest in the world.

Dong Energy will be returning to Norfolk to consult on its latest proposals for the 2.4 gigawatt Hornsea Project Three wind farm. Picture: Dong EnergyDong Energy will be returning to Norfolk to consult on its latest proposals for the 2.4 gigawatt Hornsea Project Three wind farm. Picture: Dong Energy

The publication of the draft Preliminary Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) aims to give Norfolk residents details of all the different areas that will be affected as underground cables run from Cromer to Norwich.

It was released to coincide with the start of a formal consultation period for the Hornsea Project Three wind farm on July 27.

The consultation process will run until September 20 and include a number of opportunities for Norfolk residents to find out more and provide feedback.

The town of Reepham is likely to be particularly affected as it will be a crossover point for cables going toward Norwich serving Dong Energy’s wind farm and cables going toward Necton serving Vattenfall’s offshore wind farms.

This has left residents who live close to the crossover point feeling concerned.

Ray Pearce lives at Upper Barn, which is adjacent to the crossover, and said that he has spoken to other residents living close to the cable corridor and none of them have received information from Dong and most people find out information through word of mouth.

At the beginning of July the company said they have been ensuring residents within 1km of the corridor are kept up to date via newsletters but Mr Pearce claimed these comments are a “total fabrication”.

He also criticised the PEIR for not showing evidence that Dong and Vattenfall have worked together over the cable crossing point and said the two companies appear to be racing to submit applications to the Planning Inspectorate.

But Dong Energy says they have a good working relationship with Vattenfall and they speak regularly to ensure that operations are aligned.

Stuart Livesey, Hornsea Project Three project manager said: “We have checked and Mr Pearce was on our distribution list for the newsletters in January and June. In addition, we have briefed parish councils including Reepham Town Council and left information at community access points such as Johnson’s Newsagents in the centre of Reepham and more recently Reepham Library.

“We have taken out newspaper adverts including in EDP and Reepham Life, done radio interviews, put posters up and of course held consultation events, including in Reepham, so people are informed and can find out more.

“We are aware of the unique position of Upper Barn and we are in dialogue with Mr Pearce, looking to arrange a face to face meeting as soon as possible. It’s important to stress Mr Pearce has not missed out on any chance to provide feedback, we are right at the start of the formal consultation. We are glad he has brought his issues to our attention and it is important that anyone else with specific concerns gets in touch with us directly, or comes to one of our consultation events.”

Find out how Hornsea Project Three will impact your town by visiting Dong Energy’s website.

Let us know what you think of the wind farm infrastructure in your area by emailing steve.shaw@archant.co.uk.

MORE: Wind farm cable plans cause concern for archaeological site in Reepham

MORE: Community consultations across Norfolk for proposed Hornsea Project Three wind farm

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