September 1, 2021

Concerns raised over plans to expand offshore wind farm

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Malcolm Shaw (video available at source) | ITV News Meridian | Tuesday 31 August 2021 |

MPs have raised concerns over plans to expand the Rampion wind farm off the West Sussex coast.

Andrew Griffith, the Conservative MP for Arundel and South Downs, and Nick Gibb, the Conservative MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, have both stated that it is not the right location for the project.

The expansion plans are currently in a nine-week public consultation.

They include up to 116 new turbines at least 1.5 times the height of those at the existing wind farm.

In a joint statement with Mr Gibb, Mr Griffith MP says the proposed Onshore Cable Corridor would impact ‘a large swath of countryside and communities’ in the constituency of Arundel and South Downs.

He said: “Offshore wind power is already playing a valuable role in our journey to Net Zero; however, with plenty of capacity available at sites with more reliable wind in the North Sea, I am unconvinced that West Sussex is the best place for such a large windfarm expansion.”

“In particular, I share the concerns of local residents that creating a second onshore cable corridor is unnecessarily disruptive, cutting across ancient-woodland and prime farmland. The South Downs National Park rightly has the highest degree of protection in law and has been bisected by cables once already.”

Meanwhile Nick Gibb MP said: “I support the Government’s aim for the UK to be a world leader in renewable energy and the Government’s ambitious programme to tackle climate change, but this stretch of the West Sussex coastline is an inappropriate location for such a large wind farm. “The English Channel is too narrow to enable the turbines to be positioned far enough out to sea to be acceptable. This proposal does not, therefore, comply with the Government’s recommendations for offshore wind farms of this size.”

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