Norfolk Vanguard

Enquiry received via email

Norfolk Vanguard

16 October 2017
Colin King


My late father came to xxxx, Necton in 1956, and I have lived and worked here all of my life.
The proposed Norfolk Vanguard Substation site would be closest to my home and also too close to many other homes. No body wants it here, spoiling a peaceful rural area which provides much habitat for wildlife and productive farmland. People choose to live here because they want the quiet surroundings it offers.
As I am farming on a relatively small scale, it is becoming financially necessary to look at farm diversification. I have been looking into offering bespoke holiday accommodation and in particular maximising the asset of our tranquil rural countryside.
I consider the location of my farm very important to my livelihood, and the potential to offer rural retreats, away from noise and pressures of everyday life, would be lost.
Necton already has the Dudgeon Substation and the far reaching views across my fields have been spoilt; I do not want more large structures encroaching my view, especially when even closer to xxxx.
What can be done to protect my potential farm diversification plans and earnings?
Planting tall screening to try and hide the substation would restrict views and would not compensate for such a terrible loss of countryside.
My mother, aged 82, does not want this industrial monstrosity so close to her home, she is very worried, as this would change and spoil the area where she has lived for 61 years.
Property devaluation (obviously, any houses in close proximity to giant substations would be much less desirable ) would also effect the potential development of a range of old farm buildings, which would not be viable anymore.
There is a small stream, tributary of the river Wissey, running along side my house which regularly floods into the adjoining road, and in 1982 after prolonged heavy rain, flooded the ground floor of the house.
This small watercourse would need significant work to enable it to cope with excess run off water from the substation and to protect an area already prone to flooding. Land drains stop this land being waterlogged, so it is not an ideal site for infrastructure, and I am very concerned of further flood risk.
This is a real worry, can it be guaranteed this would not flood our house again?
The EMF of this substation is very concerning due to its enormity The biological effectof EMFs is currently under debate and still a controversial issue. Is comparable data even available for a site of this size? .
Background noise is another concern, a hum would be especially noticeable in the quiet of night or crackleing in damp weather . This would be unacceptable and a cause anxiety which can also impact health. There was a misunderstanding regarding background noise monitoring carried out on behalf of Vattenfall so I can only hope their results are accurate. Can it be guaranteed there would be no background noise hum or crackle?
xxxx wants to sell his farm to Vattenfall, (I think 172 acres) but they have declined to purchase. Please could you look into this? It is close to Vattenfall's preferred connection point and further away from the many residents of Ivy Todd, Necton and Necton Village. It does however affect the residents of xxxx, who have recently moved there, but overall this seems a better option.
Infrastructure of this scale and capacity shouldn't be cited so close to any populated area. It is too invasive, but the worst thing for me would be to walk a short distance from my house, along a farm track, and instead of wonderful field views see an ugly industrialised area of massive substations.
If Norfolk Vanguard receives development consent then Boreas will be sure to follow and how many more? We do not want Necton surrounded by Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.
The stress of many years of construction disturbance and then to have the imposition of living next to this intrusive site is causing much distress and anxiety to both myself and my mother.

Advice given

As the project has not yet been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (the Inspectorate), we have no formal powers to intervene on consultees behalf. I would therefore encourage you to contact the developer directly to make your concerns heard as the Applicant has a statutory duty to take your views into account. However, if you feel your comments are not being taken into account, I would advise you to write to your local authority and set out why you think the Applicant is failing to conduct its consultation properly. Your comments should be taken into account when the local authority sends the Inspectorate its comments on whether the Applicant has fulfilled its consultation duties. The local authority’s comments on the Applicant’s consultation will be taken into account when the Acceptance Inspector makes their decision whether to accept the application for Examination.
A copy of your correspondence has been placed on our records and will be presented to the Inspector at Acceptance, together with the application documents and local authorities’ comments on the Applicant’s consultation.
After the decision has been made regarding whether to accept the application for Examination all documents used to inform the decision will be published on our website. If the application for development consent is formally accepted you will be able to submit your views in relation to the project which will be considered by the Examining Authority during the Examination. The Inspectorate has published a series of advice notes which explain the Examination process, including information on how to get involved; of particular interest are advice notes 8.1 to 8.5. These are available at: attachment 1
We also recently published a Frequently Asked Questions document regarding Pre-application consultation and this can be viewed on our website here: attachment 2.

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