Another hurdle clear for offshore wind farm

Robin Rigg Offshore Wind Farm, Solway Firth.
Robin Rigg Offshore Wind Farm, Solway Firth.
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Proposals for an offshore wind farm which could boost Seaford’s economy have been accepted for consideration by the Planning Inspectorate.

The main concerns highlighted through the consultation were the visual impact of the wind farm from the Sussex coast, the impact on fishermen and sea users and the impact of the onshore cable route on the South Downs National Park.

E.ON has worked to reduce the wind farm area by almost a quarter of the area consulted upon and to around half that originally awarded by The Crown Estate in January 2010.

This has been achieved by removing an area to the southeast of the site, therefore reducing the view of the wind farm visible from the coast by more than 35 per cent.

Seaford MP Norman Baker said, “I’m pleased that matters are moving forward. This development, if given permission, will create an initial 85 jobs in Newhaven, as well as helping the UK both to become more energy self-sufficient and cut carbon emissions.”

Feedback from more than 1,500 people and organisations in Sussex, who took part in the consultation, has been used to shape the proposals.

E.ON development manager Chris Tomlinson said, “We’re delighted to reach this important milestone and that the application will now be considered by the Planning Inspectorate.”

E.ON has also come up with solutions to reduce the impact on the South Downs National Park, such as ducted method of cable installation to reduce the time required for trenching and restoration, tailored construction to reduce the impact on the chalk grasslands and a commitment to communicate with users.

• You can view E.ON’s final proposals and register as an ‘interested party’ with the Planning Inspectorate until May 11.

Go to: http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/south-east/rampion-offshore-wind-farm/