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Campaigners cautious over change in Necton substation proposals

PUBLISHED: 18:00 19 June 2017

One of Vattenfall's windfarms, at Kentish Flats. Pic: Robin Dawe/ Perfectly Clear Marketing

One of Vattenfall's windfarms, at Kentish Flats. Pic: Robin Dawe/ Perfectly Clear Marketing

Robin Dawe/ Perfectly Clear Marketing

Residents who have been campaigning against the construction of a wind farm substation say they have mixed feelings over new proposals to build it further from their village.

Latest search area for Vattenfall's substation infrastructure. Picture: VattenfallLatest search area for Vattenfall's substation infrastructure. Picture: Vattenfall

Villagers in Necton had previously feared the substation, which is part of Vattenfall’s offshore Vanguard and Boreas projects, would be built almost on their doorsteps but new information from the energy company says their concerns have been listened to.

Vattenfall published maps showing reduced search areas for the electrical infrastructure and this was distributed to Necton residents via a newsletter on Friday, June 16. It is a relatively secluded area that has been chosen to maximise the distance between the substation and housing while maintaining the required proximity to the National Grid substation.

Ruari Lean, Vattenfall’s project manager for Norfolk Vanguard, said the new proposals were thanks to feedback from the community and thanked residents for their patience.

“The search areas have been chosen because we believe they offer the best opportunity to minimise impact – not least our early decision to lay underground the 60km transmission cables,” he added.

Latest search area for Vattenfall's substation infrastructure. Picture: VattenfallLatest search area for Vattenfall's substation infrastructure. Picture: Vattenfall

Those campaigning against the substation are cautious about the news because their relationship with the company has been strained since the project was announced.

This has been fuelled by moments of great uncertainty, such as an unannounced newsletter being distributed earlier this year showing planned infrastructure on top a section of housing.

The residents acknowledge that the new plans appear to be good news for their village but are concerned that it will be problematic for a nearby hamlet called Ivy Todd, which is close to the new location.

Nina Matthews, a resident in Ivy Todd, said: “Whilst I feel that this is a slight step in the right direction for the village it obviously has a bigger impact on myself personally living in Ivy Todd.

“The latest newsletter out to the village from Vattenfall seems not to have been issued to Ivy Todd.

“Can they be trusted when this feels like another dirty tactic? How can we protest if we the closest residents aren’t offered the information?”

* What do you think? Email steve.shaw@archant.co.uk

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