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Residents to stage protest against wind farm company

PUBLISHED: 15:16 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:07 06 November 2017

Jenny Smedley stands with fellow Necton residents holding a petition signed by almost half the households in the village in opposition of plans to build a wind farm substation.

Jenny Smedley stands with fellow Necton residents holding a petition signed by almost half the households in the village in opposition of plans to build a wind farm substation.

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A group of residents are planning to hold a demonstration outside of a public consultation for two of Norfolk’s largest offshore wind farms.

Vattenfall's offshore Norfolk Vanguard project promises to be one of the largest in the world. Picture: Vattenfall Vattenfall's offshore Norfolk Vanguard project promises to be one of the largest in the world. Picture: Vattenfall

Residents in Necton, near Swaffham, claim they have been lied to since plans were announced for the onshore infrastructure that supports Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas wind farms.

In a show of defiance they say will not take part in Friday’s public consultation under the company’s terms and will instead stand outside holding banners with the words ‘Vattenfall lied to Necton’ scrawled across them.

“We have been following procedure respectfully for a year now with nothing to show for it,” said Jenny Smedley, leader of a campaign group called Necton Substations Action Group.

“Ahead of each meeting we have been told our concerns would be allayed. They have in fact been ignored. The time has come to confront Vattenfall with the distrust they have created.”

Location of proposed infrastructure in Necton based on the recently released PEIR document. Picture: Vattenfall Location of proposed infrastructure in Necton based on the recently released PEIR document. Picture: Vattenfall

The energy company recently published a Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) which justifies the location of planned infrastructure, based on the least impact on the environment.

Part of this infrastructure is a substation that will connect to an existing National Grid substation close to Necton for electricity transmission.

Mrs Smedley said that when reading the PEIR she was shocked to discover that the National Grid substation could be extended to make it almost a third of a mile long.

She also said the village had been told the Boreas project would require a second smaller substation but it has now tripled in size to match the Vanguard substation.

Ruari Lean, Vattenfall’s project manager for Norfolk Vanguard, said: “Where we have received constructive, evidenced feedback this has strongly influenced the current set of proposals set out in the PEIR, and we’d like to see more.

“Feedback that has influenced the design includes proposing a site that minimises the impact on Necton by locating the substation to the east of the existing National Grid substation and noting how a number of concerns raised by Necton residents regarding potential impacts during construction will be addressed, including in construction management plans.”

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