When The Crown Estate awarded rights to develop offshore wind farms on the sea bed off the East Anglian coast, Swedish energy company Vattenfall was awarded the northern section, requiring it to secure consents and build an offshore wind farm in two phases, each phase requiring its own Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Secretary of State.
BECG was commissioned by Vattenfall to develop and implement a full communications and consultation programme for the two DCO applications, both non-statutory and statutory, covering a total period of five years. We proposed the two project names, Vanguard and Boreas, which referenced the ships sailed by Norfolk born Horatio Nelson.
The BECG team developed detailed stakeholder mapping along with analysis, development and management of the community and stakeholder risk register. This fed into the consultation strategy which promoted the use of the non-statutory phase to hold two stages of consultation, the first to launch Norfolk Vanguard and the second to show how it interacted with Norfolk Boreas.
Our support for the client has included the publication of the Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC) and Preliminary Environmental Information Report, undertaking of statutory consultation and producing the Consultation Report as part of the submission of the first DCO application to the Planning Inspectorate.
The application was accepted by PINs and we completed the S56 process. We reviewed representations in preparation from the examination phase and the Planning Inspectorate made their recommendation to the Secretary of State who went on to approve the scheme. Following a Judicial Review process, the project received full consent in February 2022.