Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm
The Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm is currently at the pre-application stage, the first of the six stages of the national infrastructure planning process and having read Advice notes 8.1 – 8.5 on your website I am fully aware that at the pre-application stage concerns of local residents should be addressed to the developer DONG Energy. This I have done by making representations under the Phase 1.b Community Consultation to DONG Energy as a 26 page report entitled: ‘HORNSEA PROJECT THREE OFFSHORE WIND FARM, REPORT REGARDING POTENTIAL CANDIDATE SITE FOR HVAC BOOSTER STATION AT POND HILLS, NORFOLK – OPTION A’, dated March 2017.
I understand that after the Planning Inspectorate has accepted the application I will be able to register as an interested party at the pre-examination stage and make representations to you at the examination stage. This I intend to do when I will forward you a copy of the above report.
Advice note 8.1 advises “it is not normally possible for substantial changes to be made to an application once it has been submitted. So, if you want to influence the project, you should take part in the developer’s pre-application consultation process”.
It is on the basis of this advice that I reproduce below for your attention an extract from my report to DONG Energy regarding their site search and selection methodology for the HVAC booster station:
“18. Methodology Used to Identify Potential Sites for the HVAC Booster Station
Section 9.3 of Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm, Phase 1.b Consultation Event Overview, Spring 2017 (available at attachment 1 ) states that the three potential sites for locating the HVAC booster station were determined by Dong Energy’s constraint mapping exercise and initial feedback from informal consultation. The lighter the segment the less constrained the area is and the more suitable it is considered to be. The heatmap for the onshore HVAC booster station (available at attachment 2 ) shows the most and least constrained areas within the onshore HVAC booster station search based upon overlaying maps of areas of outstanding natural beauty, historic parks and gardens, listed buildings and scheduled monuments, distance to residential properties, woodland (including ancient woodland), county wildlife sites, watercourses, Ramsar/SSSIs/ SACs/SPAs.
This exercise is flawed in that it does not recognise locations of high landscape value, conservation areas, locations where visual intrusion would be unacceptable, locations where a HVAC booster station would be totally out of character with the environmental setting, locations of high tranquillity, and remote areas renowned for their beauty and special character such as Pond Hills. Identifying the least constrained areas using Dong Energy’s heat map is a desk-top study that has resulted in identifying remote rural areas, many of which may well need protecting to preserve their remote rural character, and suffers from a lack of local knowledge.”
Using Dong's search methodology would mean that no large electrical sub-station would ever be sited within towns and cities, when this is clearly not the case.
As a substantial industrial development the booster station would be alien to the proposed setting at Pond Hills and be in highly discordant contrast to its surroundings.
I note that the Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm development identified 29 sites for the Intermediate Electrical Compound that were shortlisted to 3 sites, and 19 sites for the new substation that were shortlisted to 4 sites. Did DONG Energy look at more than the 3 sites put forward?
Whilst I appreciate that now is not the time for me to make representations to the Planning Inspectorate, given that this is such a fundamental issue, I just wish to ensure that DONG Energy’s site search and selection methodology for the location of the HVAC booster station is acceptable to the Planning Inspectorate at this stage of the process in assessing alternatives.
Please see attached letter