Cawston street protests planned over wind farm cables

Residents of Cawston have threatened to hold “peaceful” protests over a planned cable route for a new offshore wind farm to be constructed off the North Norfolk coast.

Photo: © Reepham Community Press

A public meeting held in East Dereham on 24 April discussed an application by Swedish state-owned energy company Vattenfall for its Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm project.
If development consent is granted for this project the onshore electricity cables will run from the coast at Happisburgh to join the National Grid substation at Necton, passing through the Norfolk countryside and farmland, and near villages and towns including Cawston and Reepham, before heading towards the A1067 near Bawdeswell.
Several Cawston residents who attended the meeting raised their concerns about the potential increase in heavy traffic as a result of the work and the noise this would create.
As reported in the Eastern Daily Press, one resident said: “To think huge numbers of additional HGVs could be allowed to pass through the village multiple times a day is appalling. There will be peaceful and determined protests on the street.”
A similar application was made in March by Danish energy group Ørsted for its Hornsea Project Three offshore wind farm, also off the North Norfolk coast.
The onshore cable route is proposed to run from the coast at Weybourne connecting to the National Grid substation at Swardeston, south of Norwich.
These cables will also run through Reepham from the north of the town and will cross with the Vattenfall cables on farmland off Cawston Road near the border between Salle and Reepham parishes, before heading to the Marriott’s Way towards Booton.
As an alternative to onshore cable corridors and individual substations, campaigners in Norfolk have suggested constructing an offshore ring main as a way of connecting the energy onshore.
This would involve each offshore wind farm joining the same connection via a marine cable that connects to just two large onshore substations at either end, rather than having many individual substations, like those at Necton and Swardeston.
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