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Plans outlined for Rampion wind farm extension in Sussex

A wind farm could more than double in size if plans go ahead.

Energy company Rampion has applied to extend its wind farm off the Sussex coast westwards towards Bognor.

If the proposal is carried out in full, the wind farm could stretch as much as 16 miles across the sea.

The existing £1.3 billion wind farm generates enough electricity to power 350,000 homes.

Hundreds of thousands more could be powered with wind energy if an extension is approved.

A Rampion spokeswoman said it has applied to the Crown Estate, the royal company which owns the seabed, to extend the wind farm.

The estate has shortlisted the site as the place for a potential extension.

“We’re at an early stage of exploring the potential for development through environmental and engineering work and intend to engage with stakeholders more on this next year,” the spokeswoman said.

“Any potential extension would be subject to the same rigorous planning and consultation processes as previously undertaken.

“We would work closely with both the community and local stakeholders before any proposal is submitted for consent.”

Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth campaigner Chris Todd said extending the wind farm “made sense”.

“Demand for electricity is going to increase massively in the next few years, especially thanks to electric cars,” he said.

“If everyone went electric overnight, the grid would not be able to cope.

“In principle, extending the wind farm is a good idea.”

Though an extension could cause seabed disruption, Mr Todd said it would bring plenty of benefits.

“There can be downsides, but if Rampion go about an extension the same way as they did with the original wind farm, things should be fine,” he said.

“Work on the turbines can stop while fish are breeding.

“You can even create reefs around the base of the turbines.

And it brings tourism, people already come to see the existing wind farm in boats.”

Brighton Pavilion Parliamentary candidate Caroline Lucas said the potential extension was a “vote of confidence in a future without fossil fuels”.

“Offshore wind has been a huge success story for us in tackling the climate emergency,” the Green said. “Wind farms have already been built without subsidy much earlier than had been predicted.”