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Firm bids to halt sailing between wind turbines  

A storm is blowing up over plans to stop boats navigating between wind turbines in the sea off Walney.

Barrow Offshore Wind has issued official notification of its application to the government.

The company is jointly owned by Centrica and Danish firm Dong.

Andrew Hanson, Centrica spokesman, said the application was a formality and did not represent any drastic change for those using the waters around the site off Walney.

He said: “There is no change to the day to day navigation rights at the site.

“In releasing this public notice we are fulfilling a legal requirement placed on us by the Crown Estate.

“The notice means that boats cannot legally sail into the turbines themselves, which is something most try to avoid anyway for obvious safety reasons.

“Before the site was there ships could pass freely through those waters. Now they will be required to stay away from the coordinates occupied by the turbines.”

Any objectors have around five weeks to voice their concerns.

Dave Dobson, chief fishery officer for the Cumbria Sea Fisheries Committee, said: “To restrict navigation to fishing vessels within the site would be a total disaster for the trade in the area if the plans are approved.”

Located four miles west of Walney, the 90 megawatt wind farm first generated power last March.

The 30-turbine wind farm produces enough power to supply 68,000 homes via an offshore sub station and an underwater cable running to Heysham.

A period of public consultation has opened and ends on July 13.

Objectors should write to Alistair Darling MP, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, c/o Offshore Renewables Consent Unit, Bay 2117, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET, stating the nature of their objections. They can also email offshore.windfarms@dti.gsi.gov.uk.

North-West Evening Mail

11 June 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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