Council in plea on sea defence wall

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Developers of a multi-million-pound wind farm off the Norfolk coast will “breach” sea defences at Sutton Bridge to lay cables.

But Centrica is being urged to make good any long term damage after it was claimed “cracks” had appeared in the sea defence wall after it worked on the East Lincs Wind Farm.

Sutton Bridge Parish Council heard there could be as many as 90 turbines in the latest project.

Centrica’s Race Bank scheme was given the go-ahead from the Department of Energy and Climate Change in July last year, but it still has to win more consents – including planning permission from South Holland District Council and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council – before work can start.

Kit Hawkins, on behalf of the developers, told Sutton Bridge Parish Council that the next breach in the wall will be 600 metres away from the Lincs East one and cables will be laid at a one metre depth under the marsh on a route designed to cause least damage.

Parish council chairman John Grimwood told him: “This sea defence is there to protect the land and the people in this area.

“It’s very worrying that cracks have appeared in the previous project and there is great concern that no cracks are going to appear in this.”

The council asked for a planning condition that Centrica should be obliged to maintain the wall for longer than the five years stipulated for East Lincs.

Janet Blundell, secretary of an advisory group for The Wash, understands there is one crack on the seaward side of the wall and it is being monitored – it is not considered “detrimental to the integrity of the defence”.