Amanda Holden is backing a campaign to halt a wind farm that would have turbines taller than the Eiffel Tower from blighting one of Britain’s most beautiful coastlines.
The Britain’s Got Talent judge is angry at plans by German energy company RWE to erect the giant towers of up to 1,066ft within sight of the West Sussex coast.
She has offered her support to thousands of local campaigners battling to stop the new site called Rampion 2, which will occupy an area the size of the Isle of Wight just eight miles from shore.
The TV star was angry when she learned of the plans during a pre-Christmas weekend break in beach resort Middleton-on-Sea with her celebrity friends Tamzin Outhwaite and Lisa Faulkner.
Having opposed wind farm plans near her Norfolk holiday home in 2009, Ms Holden has now joined Tory MPs, environmentalists and locals in urging RWE to locate the turbines further offshore or in the North Sea.
RWE’s existing site Rampion 1, which has been criticised as an eyesore, features 459ft-high turbines that power 350,000 homes. Rampion 2 will have up to 116 turbines generating enough energy to power one million homes. Campaigners have warned that the new project’s towers, which are three feet taller than Paris’s 1,063ft Eiffel Tower, will dwarf the existing turbines and be a bigger eyesore. They are also angry that the site will be built just eight miles offshore, when the Government recommendation is that the turbines be erected at least 14 miles from the coast.
Campaigner Zoe Visram said: ‘At 14 miles out, the winds are stronger and proven to generate up to 60 per cent more power as a result.’
She pointed out that Rampion 2 will be visible along 50 miles of the West Sussex shoreline, from Bognor Regis in the west to Newhaven in the east with Brighton’s beachfront in the middle.
RWE, which held a nine-week online consultation, is about to submit its application to the Planning Inspectorate, run by Michael Gove’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
Because the wind farm has national significance, the planning process will bypass local councils. Campaigners complain this has left residents and politicians without a voice. Environmentalists have also warned that a 22-mile cable to connect Rampion 2 to the National Grid cuts through the South Downs National Park and will destroy marine life and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
However, RWE said Rampion 2 will meet the energy needs of at least a million homes each year and prevent 1.8 million tons of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere annually.
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