We initially began in 2016 with a programme of non-statutory (informal) consultation, which assisted in informing the early development of the proposals. This was followed by a programme of Statutory Consultation between 7th November and 11th December 2017.
Our full Consultation Report, submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, provides further detail about the consultation undertaken throughout the pre-application process. This document can be viewed alongside other application documents on the Planning Inspectorate website.
A summary of the key changes made to the proposals throughout the process can also be found in the Consultation Report Executive Summary.
We have also prepared a report 'Hearing Your Views III - February 2018' which describes the consultation, from how people gathered information and chose to participate, as well as key ideas, concerns and issues raised. The volume and depth of the feedback we received has been very helpful in understanding concerns, and in identifying opportunities to try to allay them. The report describes where and how we have taken suggestions on board and modified our plans.
We sent out a newsletter in late February 2018 providing a brief update to all households within our Primary Consultation Zone (as described in our Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC). The SoCC can be viewed here.
Further information on how the application process works for major infrastructure projects and the purpose of a SoCC can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website found here.
The process so far:
Vattenfall staff and project team members have been actively engaging with local people, varied organisations and businesses in Norfolk since October 2016, particularly along the proposed onshore cable route to the area of connection with the National Grid near Necton.
Since this time we have:
Distributed around 100,000 newsletters to local households
Convened 31 public events (including staffed exhibitions, workshops and pop-up information points)
Presented information to local parish councils, convened briefings with local MPs and many deliberative meetings with statutory stakeholders, training sessions with schools and colleges, and we have seen an increase in participation amongst those normally considered 'harder to reach'
Spoken with approximately 2500 people attending our events
Received well over a thousand responses (as written feedback) after local events (both formal and informal consultation associated with the Norfolk Vanguard project)
Received and responded to many hundreds of emails from local people and stakeholders
Written many information leaflets, reports and consultation materials responding to local interests, information needs and requests plus many contributions to local media channels (broadcast and print)
Maintained a proactive social media campaign
We have a Local Liaison Officer and Skills & Education Champion based full time in Norfolk as well as support from a Norwich-based PR agency, and we continue to broaden and deepen our engagement with organisations who support and represent the interests of local people and local businesses near to our proposed onshore works in the region.
Our skills and education work to date has included:
- Engaging with over 400 students in 3 colleges (UTCN, Reepham and Dereham) in Autumn 2017, with an additional 65 students joining us at drop-in events. Read the latest on this exciting work by clicking here.
- Developing a pilot Colleges programme aimed at 14-19 year olds giving a balanced insight into wind farm development through use of 3D modelling and virtual reality
- Rolling out the above programme to 8 schools and colleges across the project area (180 students), encouraging their attendance and sharing of views during Statutory Consultation with specific opportunities to engage with consultation for young carers and harder to reach young people not in employment, education or training
- A pilot green energy outreach programme with 1 primary school on the cable route, leading to current and ongoing engagement with a further 8 primary schools through development of a School Hub approach
We are excited to have received the New Anglia Youth Pledge Marque, which “recognises those organisations pledging to support the future workforce in Norfolk and Suffolk”. We’re proud to have received this recognition and look forward to continuing our work across the region on skills and education development.