Shellfishermen say plans for a massive windfarm development off the mouth of the Humber will put their livelihoods at risk.
They also claim power firm E.ON UK is ignoring their views.
Last month the company held exhibitions in areas around Hull, and in Withernsea and Cleethorpes, on its proposed Humber Gateway windfarm scheme and claims 90% of the 200 people who completed questionnaires were in favour of the development.
Steve Cowan, chairman of Flamborough and Bridlington Fisherman’s Association, said its survey is flawed as it completely ignores the people who will be most affected, the fishermen.
“We were not invited to take part and for us the development would put our livelihoods in jeopardy,” he said.
The fishermen did have a meeting with E.ON some months ago in Bridlington but have heard nothing since.
E.ON plans to construct up to 83 turbines which would produce enough energy to heat up to 200,000 homes. It will be in an area of sea used by Bridlington’s shellfishing fleet.
“We understand each of these turbines will have to have a 50 metre exclusion zone around it and the whole site could cover around 35 square kilometres, that is a huge amount of sea which will no longer be available to us,” said Mr Cowan.
Fishermen from Grimsby and lower down the Lincolnshire coast have already said they are unhappy at the growing number of offshore wind farms springing up between the Wash and the Humber.
A spokesman for E.ON said the company did understand the significance of the proposed windfarm to Bridlington’s fishermen and had not taken their views lightly.
“This is a long term project in its very early stages and there will be further discussions with the fishermen,” he said.
He confirmed the overall size of the proposed Humber Gateway farm was 35 square kilometres but said safety zones would be applied in phases as the development progressed and would be put in place and removed in a rolling programme.
E.ON is currently conducting environmental studies from which it will produce an environmental statement to accompany its planning application, which it hopes to submit before the end of this year.
It will be in two parts, one to the Government for permission to develop off-shore and another to East Riding of Yorkshire Council which will have to consider giving planning permission for connection works to the power grid.
The E.ON spokesman said: “There will be further consultation after it is submitted. If approved, construction would start in 2010.”
8 November 2007
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