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Proposed £3.4m substation could improve electricity supply to Snetterton Heath and help create 1,700 jobs

The location of the proposed susbtation. Picture: Chaplin Farrant

The location of the proposed susbtation. Picture: Chaplin Farrant

Archant

A proposed substation for Norfolk could be key to creating more than 1,500 jobs and safeguarding a further 1,000.

The Snetterton Renewable Energy Plant officially opens.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017The Snetterton Renewable Energy Plant officially opens. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Snetterton Heath has long been identified as a key employment site by Breckland Council and the New Anglia LEP and is seen as a strategic site within the Cambridge Norwich A11 Tech corridor.

However a lack of power has meant the employment area could not reach its full potential.

Breckland Council have submitted an application for the substation on land off Chalk Lane and adjacent to the Snetterton Renewable Energy Plant, which began operations last year.

MORE - Take a look inside the £173m Snetterton Renewable Energy Plant which supplies 82,000 homes with electricity

The £3.4m project would involve tapping into the high voltage power line which connects the plant to the major network power distribution point at Diss.

It will provide an additional six-mega-volt amps (MVA) to Snetterton Heath, in addition to the site’s existing 3MVA - which is currently at full capacity.

MORE - Hundreds of new jobs could be unlocked after funding boost finally secures more electricity for Snetterton

A spokesman for Breckland Council said: “We are working hard to improve the power supply at Snetterton Heath, as full utilisation of the site has the potential to create 1,700 new local jobs while safeguarding a further 1,450.

“The total cost of the project is around £3.4m and while some funding has already been secured, the council continues to work closely with the Snetterton power plant owners, local Snetterton land owners, UK Power Networks, and other partners to secure the necessary funding and permissions to proceed.

“We expect a funding bid for the project to be considered by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership in the coming weeks and if this is secured we expect to begin work on implementing the project in summer this year.”

The application, which will be discussed at the authority’s planning meeting on Monday, has been recommended for approval.

The power supply to Snetterton Heath has been a contentious issue. In 2014 the council told businesses renewable energy plant would provide electricity to kickstart the employment area.

MORE - Council asks businesses for help raising £1.6m to power employment site - 14 months after saying new £160m biomass plant would solve the problem

But when plans were approved in 2012 the council did not include a condition to ensure power would go back to Snetterton when the plant opened - only that it would have the potential to do so.

In September last year the council said the issue “proved far more complex than was originally anticipated”.

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