Wind farm boss says Necton residents’ homes are safe despite plans showing a substation on top of them
PUBLISHED: 06:30 18 March 2017
A windfarm boss said homes in a Norfolk village are not under threat, despite plans appearing to show that a substation could be built on top of them.
The latest proposals for Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard project are outlined in a newsletter delivered to residents in the last few days.
They show project development zones which have been narrowed down following consultation events in October.
But residents in Necton, near Swaffham, were shocked to find some of their homes were included within the potential development zone for the substation.
Necton resident, Jenny Smedley, said Vattenfall has not given them any clear answers.
She said: “We had no idea that they were going to put the edge of the search area right through our houses.
“I’ve given them ample opportunity to say they will not build through our houses, I’ve said how worried people are. If they aren’t going to build on our houses why won’t they just say so?”
The new plans infuriated residents who have been voicing concerns since October.
In November they launched a petition to highlight the village’s objections and out of 890 households, close to 500 have signed.
Resident Alice Spain said: “We don’t have a problem with green energy development but we don’t want substations in Necton. The government has been given targets by the European Union to build wind turbines and that’s fine but it doesn’t mean they should put substations by our houses, they should put them in a field.”
Most of the concerns stem from the development of a previous substation which caused many issues in the village, including a reduction in property value and road disruptions.
Vattenfall’s project manager for Norfolk Vanguard, Ruari Lean, said: “We can reassure residents their houses are safe. One of the site selection criteria to ensure minimal impact from onshore infrastructure is avoiding residential properties.
“What we have shown in the newsletter sent to 35,000 addresses in Norfolk is a high-level search area for network onshore infrastructure needed for the offshore wind farm.”
Vattenfall will hold further consultations in Necton on March 24.