UK: DOW Receives Onshore Cable Route Planning Permission
Dudgeon Offshore Wind Limited (DOW), a subsidiary of Warwick Energy Limited, has received the planning permissions needed to construct and operate the onshore cables for the proposed Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm (Dudgeon) project.
The permission received from the Planning Inspectorate covers the northern 28km section of the buried cable system needed to allow the electricity generated offshore to enter the electricity transmission network. Planning permission for the southern section of this cable route was received from Breckland Council in October 2010.
This new planning permission covers the section that runs through North Norfolk District Councils’ area. Despite a planning officer recommendation to approve the application the NNDC planning committee voted to refuse the proposal in January 2012 over concerns regarding landscape and agricultural impacts. A planning inquiry was held in May 2012 following an appeal by DOW.
In his report the Inspector saw no reason to disagree with expert opinion that the proposals, with suitable planning conditions, would not cause any significant long term harm.
The exact location of the Dudgeon onshore substation is still to be decided, following a decision in 2011 to refuse the planning application for a site south of Little Dunham, Norfolk which was subsequently quashed by the High Court in April 2012. The decision regarding the Little Dunham substation is now being reconsidered by the Secretaries of State for Energy and Climate Change and for Communities and Local Government.
As part of its contingency planning for the project DOW is also preparing to apply for an alternative substation site between Necton and Little Fransham due to the continued uncertainty over the Little Dunham application.
Mark Petterson, Project Director, said: “We are pleased these necessary cable consents have been granted and reflect our commitment to work closely with local communities and their representatives. In a time of national austerity, projects like Dudgeon are of absolute importance for creating jobs and delivering economic growth.”
The Dudgeon site, where the wind turbines will be installed, is located 32km offshore from Cromer. Power generation might commence by late 2015 if the remaining project consents are received shortly and suitable construction funding is identified.
Offshore WIND staff, June 26, 2012; Image: Dudgeon Offshore Wind Ltd