“A horizon filled with industrial machinery” is how anti offshore wind farm campaigners have described future views from the North Devon coast – and have released a photograph in an attempt to try and prove it.
The Slay the Array group has created the above image, which it says is what people could see when they look out to sea from Putsborough near Woolacombe if the proposed Atlantic Array is built nine miles offshore.
Of those who attended public consultation exhibitions about the £3 billion development of up to 417 turbines proposed by RWE npower renewables, almost a third raised concerns about its visual impact.
Photo montage images of the view from North Devon locations were available during last year’s exhibitions and can be found via the RWE website, but the company has not allowed them to be published.
“The vital thing to understand here is that this is probably the least affected view,” said Steve Crowther, Slay the Array spokesman.
“From Lundy and Morte Point the Array will be considerably closer, filling the horizon and standing much taller than this.
“North Devon earns more than £360 million from the four million people who visit every year. Do they come here to see an unspoiled rugged coastline and seascape? Or a horizon lined with industrial machinery?”
RWE npower renewables said it was currently progressing the environmental impact assessment for the wind farm and it had an agreed connection point to the electricity network with National Grid from 2016.
There had been some talk locally that the project could be delayed for up to two years, but on Friday the company said it still planned to submit an application to the Infrastructure Planning Committee by the end of this year.
Permission for the installation of a “met mast” in the Bristol Channel to monitor weather conditions has since expired without anything ever being erected.
RWE said it was “looking at new and evolving technologies” not included in the original consent. Future installation of a mast at the site would be subject to the submission of a new application.
Slay the Array wants to hear from tourist businesses willing to participate in a survey to gauge what the effect could be if the Atlantic Array is approved. Any property owner prepared to take part can email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information is also available at www.slaythearray.com