The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.
Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm
From South Norfolk Council
relation to the diversification of UK energy supplies and potential contribution to the
national and local economy. The economic benefits in terms of investment and job
creation are welcomed. We are however concerned at the adverse visual effects, together with the harm to Heritage assets the converter/substation would have on our District. Contrary to National and Local Policy.
The Environmental Impact Assessment has been conducted using appropriate and agreed methods and has been informed by relevant and up to date surveys, modelling, evidence gathering and desk studies. The scope and methodology of these has been agreed with key stakeholders and consultees throughout the process. Overall the ES is comprehensive and of good quality and there are no substantive issues arising from it, subject to the following comments:
Impact on Heritage Assets
The Council considers that the impact of the development on both the setting of Keswick
Hall and the setting of the historic parkland should be considered to be a greater level of
impact and of more significance in the EIA than currently attributed. This we feel should be given sufficient weight, particularly with regard to the options between HVAC and HVDC converter/substation, where the latter would result in a significantly higher building, a greater degree of harm, and fewer possibility of mitigating that harm in terms of the design approach. Other mitigating measures could include further tree planting and careful consideration of the proposed colours of the building/buildings.
Landscape and visual impact
It is considered that in landscape impact terms, the greatest effect is on the site of the
proposed sub-station and this would be a significant adverse effect (major-moderate
adverse) but that this would diminish outside the site where the effects would not be
significant. With regards to the visual impact, the most significant visual effects are from
Mangreen Lane and Low Road. Overall the EIA concludes that, on completion, the visual
effects would diminish as new planting matures so to be not significant. However, the
planting will take a long time to establish. It is also considered that some of the degree of harm can be mitigated against through various measures such as having a
substation/converter which is lower height and use of recessive colour for the building.
In respect of the impact of the cable route, in the absence of the information in terms of the ‘importance’ of hedgerows under the Hedgerows Regulations and assessment of trees implicated in the scheme, it is not possible to conclude on the impacts of the cable route. Concern that the creation of woodland, whilst offering an opportunity to reduce the visual and aural impact of the A47 on the rural ambience of this area, would impact on the openness of the bypass protection zone, which could result in a significant adverse effect.
Noise and Pollution
With regards to specified works to be undertaken issues relating to Control of Noise, Air
Quality, Artificial Light, Waste Management, Pollution Prevention, Contamination
Assessment and Mitigation and Working Hours are adequately covered by the
Requirements in the Draft DCO. The Council is in general agreement with the Outline
Code of Construction Practise but wishes to confirm that issues relating to hours of
operation, siting of any standby generators, good practise procedures, prior notification of constructional noise, floodlighting, movement and storage of waste materials, public
safety, dust control, emissions, telecommunication or television interference and
decommissioning should be in place in the final document.
The Council acknowledge that there are national benefits in delivering 2,400 MW of
electricity, which as stated by Orsted would meet the daily energy needs of over 2 million homes, however there are limited benefits at the local level. There is however harm identified at a local level, in particular by the construction of the proposed
converter/substation in the parish of Swardeston. The Council considers that significant
weight should be had to the visual and heritage harms in the planning balance.
In view of the above, the Council would urge that the substation is constructed using
technologies that would allow for its height to be kept as low as possible. There is a
significant difference between HVDC height of 25m and HVAC height of 15m.
The Council wishes to continue to work pro-actively with the applicants as the application is progressed through to Examination to try to resolve some of the outstanding issues, particularly in relation to hedgerows and trees.