August 30, 2013

E.On hit roadblock on wind farm plans off Brighton and Hove coast

By Gareth Davies | The Argus | 30th August 2013 |

A world-leading energy firm has hit a string of roadblocks in drafting a planning application to build a wind farm off the coast of Brighton and Hove.

E.On’s proposal to build the Rampion wind farm in the English Channel was picked apart by the country’s leading governing bodies on Wednesday and after the first day of a pre-application they had 33 changes to their plans.

The company will need to change wording, definitions and clarification before the final application is submitted.

The two-day hearing at the Brighton Centre continued yesterday to discuss the two licences which, if granted, would see wind turbines 13km off the coast connected to a power station in Bolney.

The energy firm will liaise with Natural England (NE) and the Marine Maritime Organisation (MMO) to meet the deadline of October 15.

It was revealed yesterday that rocks, stone, steel, plastic and other synthetic materials will be left on the seabed after drilling to create platforms for the turbines should the plans go ahead.

Both the MMO and NE expressed their concerns on the impact of using chemicals and water-based mud to bore into the seabed.

The idea of wind power was generally supported by the public who attended the hearing, but John Kapp from Hove raised questions over the validity of 36km of cabling from the sea to Bolney.

Mr Kapp, 77, said: “I like the wind farm, I call myself an environmentalist and am committed to keep the carbon emissions down and this is a very good way of doing it.

“What I’m basically objecting to here is the cabling of 100 or so turbines to Bolney.

“I think they should be cabling them to the coastal sub- stations.

“They could save a lot of money, hassle and environmental impacts.”

The Secretary of State will make the final decision on the application, which is expected in summer 2014.

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