Local councillors and landowners have raised concerns about possible onshore effects of the proposed Atlantic Array offshore wind farm.
Alison Boyle, Devon County Councillor for Bideford South and Hartland, spoke to the Gazette following an informal meeting she’d organised with developer RWE npower and 12 parish councils within her division.
After the meeting at Woolsery Sports and Community Hall, attended by some 35 parish councillors, she said her division, which includes Lundy Island, would be ‘significantly affected’ during the laying of onshore cabling works from Cornborough, near Abbotsham through to the substation at Alverdiscott.
Cllr Boyle, one of three county councillors on the Atlantic Array Advisory Group, raised concerns about the directional drilling which could take place near Hallsannery to take the cables underneath the River Torridge on their way to the proposed connection to the grid at Alverdiscott.
“The Array could have massive impact on the division,” she said.
“I am very concerned about the impact of potential long periods of drilling on the Torridge river site, and the impact on traffic movement, plus the fragility of the cliff face around the area which will be over the directional drilling; and the impact on the beauty and tranquillity of Cornborough which is part of the AONB.”
Sue Beer, chairman of Littleham and Landcross Parish Council, warned the area from Cornborough cliffs to Alverdiscott could become ‘a construction site’ for up to two years.
She said people were looking at the effect of the Array in the channel and forgetting about the consequences of the installation of the cable, in particular, the effects of horizontal drilling on the A386 Bideford to Torrington road.
“The Atlantic Array Onshore construction work will impact on everybody’s lives,” she said.
“The HGVs are required to take away the material removed from the river bed, but as yet they have not stated where this will go.
“They will either go along Bideford Quay or through Torrington; both routes will again cause dust, dirt and traffic congestion.”
A spokesman for RWE npower said the A386 would not be closed during the works, although there would likely be temporary traffic lights.
David Lomas, who owns land at Cornborough, where cabling is expected to come ashore, said: “I am deeply disturbed over RWE’s attitude towards the area and the landowners concerning this project and its impact on the coastline and channel.”