Proposals for an offshore wind farm which could boost Newhaven’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.
Newhaven 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.”
Chair of the South Downs National Park Authority Margaret Paren said: “We’re pleased to see that E.ON has listened to our concerns regarding the visual impact of the Rampion proposal on the South Downs National Park, however we think that there is more to be done especially on the routing of the cables.
“This is a nationally significant infrastructure project but it would have impacts on a nationally important protected landscape which must therefore be given equal weight in making decisions – a point we will continue to make during the public examination of these plans.”
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/