Sea defence lowered for new turbines

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Sections of sea defences at Sutton Bridge will be temporarily lowered to around a metre above tide level during work on a £2billion offshore wind farm.

Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, will lay cables through the sea defences – under the marsh and sea bed – for a 580MW field with up to 96 wind turbines in its Race Bank project.

The development is expected to provide enough energy to power 400,000 homes.

Sutton Bridge Parish Council last week heard assurances from Centrica bosses that sea defence works will be carried out between May and August, when tides are at their lowest, to help minimise the risk of flooding.

Subject to final consents, work is expected to go ahead in 2014 or 2015.

A Centrica spokesman told the Spalding Guardian: “Once the works are complete the sea defence will be reinstated to match, or exceed, its current standard in accordance with details to be agreed with the Environment Agency.”

Councillors heard Centrica must comply with rules to protect wildlife as The Wash and its environs are designated as a Ramsar site and of international importance.

Sea defences at Sutton Bridge have been breached twice already for wind farms and parish councillor Gary Croxford wanted to know why it was happening again as the nearest landfall to the new project is Holme on the Norfolk coast.

Centrica consultant Simon Gamage said the company could not get consent to work from the Norfolk coast. Councillors heard the Sir Peter Scott footpath will be diverted for some of the time while work goes on.