18 Feb 2021: In the judicial review at the high court, the case of Ray Pearce v BEIS (Defendant) & Norfolk Vanguard (VG), the project's consent is quashed; "the Defendant’s decision letter dated 1 July 2020 to grant a development consent order for the Norfolk Vanguard Offshore Wind Farm together with SI 2020 No. 706 must be quashed. " "The court’s order is being made at a time when the application for a DCO in respect of Norfolk Boreas remains to be determined. The Defendant will need to give careful consideration as to how the evaluation of cumulative impacts relating to development at Necton for both projects should be approached in each decision and whether, and if so, to what extent, the examination of the Vanguard project needs to be re-opened. The court was not asked during the hearing to express its opinion on those matters. " These conclusions were based on the following arguments; "There were a number of features which plainly required the cumulative impacts of the substations for both projects to be assessed as part of the Vanguard decision and not simply left over to the Boreas decision. The two projects had been based on a strategy of co-location. Necton and alternative locations for the essential connection to the National Grid were assessed for their ability to accommodate the substations and infrastructure needed for both Vanguard and Boreas. That was important, if not critical, to the decision to select Necton for the grid connection and to include in the Vanguard DCO authority for the provision of a 60 km cable corridor between Happisburgh and Necton to serve both projects and compulsory acquisition of some land at Necton for Boreas (which would need to satisfy a “compelling public interest” test). Consequently, consistency required the cumulative impacts of the substation development at Necton to be evaluated in the Vanguard decision. In the circumstances of this case,it was irrational for the Defendant to defer that evaluation. " "The Defendant has decided that the cumulative impacts at Necton should be assessed solely in the Boreas examination and decision and not also in the Vanguard process, despite (1) the availability of information to enable him to make an evaluation of those impacts and (2) the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Larkfleet. The Defendant’s approach has had the effect, absent consideration of those cumulative effects, of making it easier to obtain consent for Vanguard, and providing a “foot in the door” making it easier to obtain consent for Boreas. Although there is no evidence that NVL sought those outcomes, the Vanguard DCO decision has had a “precedent effect” for decision-making in relation to Boreas upon which, understandably, NVL has relied heavily in the Boreas examination. In view of the familiar North Wiltshire line of authority on consistency in decision-making, these were highly likely, if not inevitable, consequences of the Defendant’s decision to approve the DCO for Vanguard. These were obviously material considerations which went directly to the rationality of the decision. " "These considerations underscore the absence of any rational justification in the Vanguard decision letter for refusing to make any evaluation of the cumulative impact issue at that stage. The single, perfunctory reason given for deferral, the limited amount of information available on Boreas, could not, in the circumstances of this case, justify by itself leaving the issue entirely to the second examination, particularly where the information was in front of the Defendant, NVL considered it to be adequate and no one suggested the contrary. "
Status:
Consent Application Submitted
Capacity:
1800 MW
Location:
United Kingdom

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General Information
Name
Norfolk Vanguard
Other names
East Anglia Array
Country
United Kingdom
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North Sea, Southern North Sea (Humber/Thames)
Latitude
52.870216°
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