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Opposition to extending wind farm as far as Bognor Regis

Opposition to extending the Rampion Wind Farm as far as Bognor Regis has been voiced by a campaign group.

Currently the wind farm, situated 13km off the coast between Worthing and Brighton, has 116 turbines which generate a maximum of 400 megawatts of energy – enough electricity to supply almost 347,000 homes a year, equivalent to around half the homes in Sussex.

Offshore construction began in early 2016 and the project was completed by April 2018.

The website of the Crown Estate – a collection of land belonging to the monarch, including the seabed around England – suggested the Rampion Wind Farm could be two-thirds longer than it is currently on the western side.

It has been suggested this would take it past Bognor Regis and as far as Selsey Bill.

At a West Sussex County Council Joint Western Arun Area Committee meeting last week a spokesperson for Protect Coastal England spoke against the idea.

They said while the group was in favour of renewable energy, Rampion could either be extended further out to sea without jeopardising shipping lines or other parts of the country’s coastline could take new offshore wind farms.

They asked the county council to speak out against any ‘blight’ of the area’s seaside-scape.

David Edwards, chair of the committee, said any extension to the wind farm would be seen as a nationally significant infrastructure project and would be decided by the government through a development consent order.

The county council would be a statutory consultee in that process and until a formal application was submitted it ‘would not be prudent for us as an authority or individuals to comment’.

Last month a spokesman for Rampion said: “We’re pleased that an extension ‘area of search’, next to the existing Rampion Wind Farm, has been confirmed as potentially suitable.

“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.”