Offshore wind farm gets go-ahead amid ‘pressing need’ for renewable energy

Kwasi Kwarteng, the energy Secretary, has given the green light to Vattenfall’s Vanguard windfarm off the Norfolk coast.

11 February 2022

The Energy Secretary has approved a wind farm development off the Norfolk coast, ruling that the need for renewable energy outweighs concern over the “substantial harm arising from landscape and visual issues”.

A judge last year quashed a decision to grant development consent to Vattenfall’s 1.8-gigawatt Norfolk Vanguard offshore windfarm.

It came after a retired RAF pilot, who lived near a cable route, took legal action against the Government.

Raymond Pearce, who lives near Reepham, had raised concerns about the effects the development would have on the landscape and the view.

But Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, granted development consent for the windfarm on Friday, having re-determined the application.

A decision letter said: “The Secretary of State has balanced the substantial harm arising from landscape and visual issues against the substantial and pressing need for renewable electricity sources and considers that the latter should prevail.”

The wind farm will have up to 158 turbines.

Industry body RenewableUK has welcomed the decision, with its chief executive, Dan McGrail, saying it “demonstrates to the rest of the world that the UK is committed to taking significant practical action against climate change”.

He said: “Today’s decision secures significant investment in much-needed, new, energy infrastructure at a time when we need to speed up the transition away from expensive fossil fuels to cheap domestic sources of clean energy.

“Building this major project will generate enormous, economic benefits for East Anglia, creating high-quality jobs in our world-class offshore wind industry and the wider supply chain nationwide.”

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