There’s little doubt that over the coming years, we need to think about how we create and use energy. With fossil fuel being both damaging to the environment and running out in the foreseeable future, investing in alternatives is key to a successful long-term energy solution.
This means we are increasingly going to be reliant on solar, tidal and wind energy. All of which means a change in the energy infrastructure.
What does that mean for Norfolk?
Here in Norfolk, that means that we should come to expect an increase in solar panels and wind turbines in the coming years. But just because this energy is green, does that mean residents should just have to put up with large-scale construction projects on their doorsteps? Especially when this could have wide-ranging financial consequences, including affecting house prices.
For example, people in Necton, near Swaffham, are angry about plans to build two offshore wind farms. The Vattenfall Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas projects are planned near to the village, something which residents are understandably upset about.
Vattenfall say that due to the location of a National Grid substation, the Necton site will have the least impact on the area. However, residents say that their latest plans have placed the farm closer to the village than previously stated. This could involve less than attractive substations being built less than 500 metres from residents’ homes. Many fear that this will have an impact on house prices.
How do you feel about wind turbines?
While opinion about wind turbines is generally divided - with many liking their appearance and others disliking the noise and disruption to bird life they can cause – there is little debate about substations. In general, proximity to a substation lowers house prices, because they are seldom inconspicuous and can be off putting to buyers with kids. However, at 500 metres the effect is likely to be limited.
The key issues, as it has always been with electricity pylons and other infrastructure, is that if people want to enjoy the benefits of power in the home, these things have to go somewhere. The key is working together with developers so ensure as little damage is done and the impact kept to a minimum. This often means placing them out at sea, as is the case in Necton.
However, some land-based infrastructure is almost always needed. Project manager of Norfolk Vanguard, Ruari Lean, said: ‘We have already met with hundreds of local people and many landowners and we have received useful feedback on our latest thinking about the offshore wind farm and onshore underground grid connection.
‘After we have completed the nine public engagement events - and collected online feedback via the website - we will gather up all of those comments and views and use it to help shape the design of the project, onshore and offshore.’
So hopefully a solution can be found that does not impact on house prices in the area. If you’d like to know more about the issue, get in touch and chat with a member of our team.
To find out more about the local and national property market, or if you would like to chat about anything to do with property investment, give us a ring on Norwich 01603 567804 or send us a message.
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