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Concerns over construction traffic if the world's biggest offshore wind farm is given the go-ahead

PUBLISHED: 14:20 08 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:48 04 November 2019

Three days of hearings looking at the potential impact of the planned Hornsea Three wind farm have been taking place this week. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Three days of hearings looking at the potential impact of the planned Hornsea Three wind farm have been taking place this week. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Parish councils in areas affected by construction traffic if the world's biggest offshore wind farm is given the go-ahead have shared their concerns.

Graphic showing the proposed route of the cable for Hornsea Project Three wind farm. Image: ARCHANT LIBRARYGraphic showing the proposed route of the cable for Hornsea Project Three wind farm. Image: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Danish energy firm Ørsted is bidding to build the wind farm off the north Norfolk coast, which would see a cable corridor dug across the county.

On the third day of hearings into the project, at the Mercure Hotel, in Norwich on Friday, stakeholders heard evidence on the likely impact of construction traffic on communities living in the parishes of Cawston and Oulton.

Discussing evidence on the anticipated 30-months of active work at the constructive site, as well as the management of when abnormal loads will travel through the village of Oulton, representatives raised concerns over the disruption the loads would cause.

Alison Shaw spoke on behalf of Oulton Parish Council.

The proposed site of the Hornsea Project Three offshore windfarm, about 120k from Trimingham on the north Norfolk coast. Picture; DONG ENERGYThe proposed site of the Hornsea Project Three offshore windfarm, about 120k from Trimingham on the north Norfolk coast. Picture; DONG ENERGY

She said she appreciated the efforts Norfolk County Council would make to ensure the management of abnormal loads through the village would be "as palatable and functional as possible."

But, given the imperative that construction work be completed as soon as possible, she wondered how likely it was that the number of abnormal loads travelling through the village during the night would be limited.

She said: "I wonder if the people of North Norfolk are aware that they are going to have abnormal loads though their area at night.

"We are very concerned about how [the abnormal loads] are going to be managed but we do appreciate that NCC will manage it as best as they can" she said.

In response to the concerns, a spokesperson for the Orsted said: "The applicant is prepared to make some changes to the abnormal load management."

Earlier in the week the hearing heard the proposed wind farm is likely to have a minimal impact on marine wildlife.

Once this week's hearings have concluded, more will be conducted later this month before a Planning Inspectorate panel completes its examination of the evidence on Tuesday, April 2.

From this point the panel will have three months to prepare a report before Greg Clark, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, is tasked with deciding the application - a process which could take another three months.

More to follow.

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