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  1. ITV Report

Offshore wind farms: Communities call for rethink on countryside cables

Plans are in the pipeline to expand and build new wind farms off the Norfolk coast. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Communities, councils and businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk are trying to balance efforts to go green with a determination to protect the countryside.

It comes as plans are considered for a series of new wind farms and extra turbines, which would be connected to the National Grid using dozens of miles of underground cables.

Residents fear it will mean years of construction work, overwhelming roads that can't cope and damaging wildlife.

  • Click below for a full report from ITV Anglia's Rob Setchell.

Councils in North Norfolk and East Suffolk have called on energy firms to consider alternatives to the cable connections.

They include an 'offshore ring main',which would connect to the National Grid through one single connection, potentially saving the countryside from widespread infrastructure work over many years.

"We are the guardians of this beautiful area, and we have an important role to play in balancing the needs of addressing the immediate climate threat, with protecting the North Norfolk countryside and community. We need to find smarter ways of working together for the benefit of all.''

– Cllr Sarah Butikofer, North Norfolk District Council Leader

The councils say around 40% of the UK's offshore wind generation will soon pass through their districts.

But energy experts say drastic action is needed to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels - and the schemes in the pipeline should start as soon as possible.

"The idea is to be carbon neutral by 2050 and to achieve that we really have to move at a hell of a pace. These projects are absolutely essential."

– Simon Gray, East of England Energy Group

The energy firms insist they're working hard to minimise that disruption and that the new wind farms will power millions of homes with cleaner energy.