The Planning Inspectorate has accepted for examination the application submitted by Equinor on behalf of its partners to develop the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm Extensions (SEP and DEP), both of which are situated off the North Norfolk coast and would power the equivalent of an additional 785,000 UK homes.
If SEP and DEP are built, the projects will support more than 1800 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs per year across the UK and within East Anglia during the construction phase. The long-term operation of the two wind farms will also support additional direct employment, as well as through the supply chains which are developing to support the growth of the offshore wind sector in East Anglia. Additionally, SEP and DEP would create over £340 million in direct gross value added (GVA) over the construction period.
After the application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) was submitted by Equinor in early September 2022, the Planning Inspectorate had 28 days to decide whether the application was sufficient to be accepted for examination.
Documents can be accessed at:
Commenting on the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to accept the SEP and DEP DCO application for examination, Equinor’s Project Director Kari Hege Mørk said:
“We are very pleased with this decision, and we will be offering our full co-operation to the Planning Inspectorate throughout the coming examination period.
“As we have developed these projects over the last three years, we have sought to find ways to maximise local benefits and minimise disruption. We have consulted widely with the local community throughout the process, including two rounds of community consultation and a series of public information days, and we will continue to maintain proactive community communications throughout the examination period.”
Following extensive consultation, Equinor has integrated several design changes into SEP and DEP to mitigate local disruption. The projects will include trenchless crossings of all A and B roads and 20 other local roads; construction of a haul road along the cable route to reduce the number of access points and Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) movements on the local road network; and have repositioned numerous construction access locations to meet stakeholder and landowner requests, thus avoiding impacts to the local environment and ensuring road safety.
Additionally, opportunities for Biodiversity Net Gain are being assessed through engagement with local communities and nature conservation bodies, to enhance local wildlife habitats.
Prior to the examination, a statutory consultation lasting until the 14th of November 2022, in total 6 weeks, will be undertaken which will provide SEP and DEP stakeholders with the opportunity to formally register their interest in the projects and the examination, and to review and comment on Equinor’s accepted application. Any representations (giving notice of application) must be made on the Planning Inspectorate’s Registration and Relevant Representation Form, which is accessible on their website: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/eastern/sheringham-and-dudgeon-extension-projects/?ipcsection=overview.
Alternatively, you can request a paper form by contacting the Planning Inspectorate during the registration period.
About Equinor in Norfolk
Equinor is a long-term partner for Norfolk and has been an active member of the community for over a decade through the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon wind farms it operates off the Norfolk coast.
The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm is owned by Equinor, Masdar and China Resources, whilst Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm is owned by Equinor, Equitix Offshore 5 (co-owned by Equitix and the Renewable Investment Group TRIG) and a fund managed by Macquarie Asset Management).
On behalf of its partners, Equinor is also maturing the proposed Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon extension projects (SEP and DEP). SEP and DEP will double the capacity of the existing Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon wind farms, providing renewable energy to power an additional 785,000 UK homes and making an important contribution to the UK’s decarbonisation goals.
Currently, the combined output of Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon wind farms is sufficient to power around 710,000 UK homes, and the proposed extensions will increase that to nearly 1.5 million UK households.
Both wind farms have established community funds which in total have awarded over £1.4 million to projects in Norfolk. The funds were set up to provide grants to Norfolk community groups, including schools and charities, seeking financial assistance for projects or initiatives that meet key criteria and focus on renewable energy, marine environment and safety, sustainability, or education in these areas. During 2020, the funds provided grant funding to the Norfolk Community Foundation’s COVID-19 funding initiatives, and during 2021 grant funding has been made available to support Norfolk’s ‘every child on-line’ initiative.