Norfolk Vanguard wind farm approved by government despite objections

East Anglia One wind farm off the coast of Lowestoft in Suffolk
Norfolk Vanguard could provide power to almost two million homes. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A multi-billion pound wind farm off the coast of Norfolk has been given the go-ahead by the government.

The Norfolk Vanguard Offshore Wind Farm  could power almost two million homes and save three million tonnes of CO2 saved per year, says Vattenfall, the energy company behind it.

However, concerns have been raised by opponents about the damage and disruption that its onshore infrastructure - including cabling and substations - would cause to Norfolk communities.

The decision follows the consent of Norfolk Boreas Offshore Wind Farm in December 2021.   

Vanguard initially received planning consent in July 2020 but that consent was quashed at the High Court in February 2021, after an appeal by Norfolk resident Ray Pearce, who argued that the cumulative impact of both projects had not been considered when consent for Vanguard was granted.

Campaigners argued that the impact on people and wildlife of digging huge cable trenches to bring the power ashore was too disruptive, and that developers should look at the possibility of building an offshore ring-main which could transfer the power to the grid without onshore infrastructure.

Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone will comprise between 180 and 312 wind turbines Credit: PA Images

Now Norfolk Vanguard along with the sister project Norfolk Boreas have received approval from the government.

Both projects will create the Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone and will comprise between 180 and 312 wind turbines expected to deliver first power in mid-2020s.

They are expected to produce enough electricity annually to power the equivalent of 3.9 million UK homes.   

The projects are also said to provide a £15m community benefit fund to Norfolk, and will bring opportunities for investment in skills and the supply chain locally.   

Danielle Lane, UK Country Manager for Vattenfall, said:  “Today is a major step forward for a project that will help to unlock the huge potential of offshore wind for the UK.

"We’re committed to making sure that these projects bring real, lasting benefit to the East of England – with jobs, supply chain and skills investment throughout construction and operation.”