Rampion plan: Eastenders actress backs campaign as developers pledge to write to forgotten coastal residents
Eastenders actress Tamzin Outhwaite has backed a campaign group, fighting against plans for a wind farm off the West Sussex coast.
The proposal could see 325-metre-high turbines – the same height as the Eiffel Tower and taller than the highest peak of the South Downs – installed and a new 11-acre substation built in Bolney.
The developers – German emergency company RWE – estimate that the Rampion 2 Offshore Wind Farm could power more than one million homes 1 in the UK and reduce carbon emissions by around 1.8 million tonnes per year.
However, a campaign has been launched by concerned residents.
Among these is Zoe Visram, who is a member of the Middleton-on-sea Coastal Alliance (MOSCA). She first brought the issue to Tamzin’s attention, when the actress visited the village with her celebrity friends, including Amanda Holden, in December.
Zoe said: “Tamzin Outhwaite has now officially supported our campaign on Instagram (help.protect.wildlife) by sharing a ‘story’ recommending to her followers to follow us.”
A petition, which was launched by campaigners ‘in the hope of finding a better way forward’, has so far received 1,448 signatures. Click here to sign the petition.
“Rampion 2 is not truly green and does not meet UK Government recommendations,” Zoe said. “A wind farm of the same size further out to sea or in the North Sea for example would be up to 60 per cent more efficient producing cheaper energy for us the UK consumer plus save the Government huge subsidies.
“Plus, importantly, would cause less harm to wildlife, the local economy and our overall environment.
“In addition proven ‘game changer’ floating turbines are increasingly deployed even further out to sea which are even more efficient and cause even less harm. Significantly, Germany construct all new wind warms far offshore.”
Campaigners have claimed the official nine-week public consultation, which closed in September, was flawed and many residents, who live within 100 metres of the sea front, were not notified of the proposals.
Zoe added: “There is just two weeks until the petition ends and sadly we are still finding that due to wind farms by-passing local planning procedures, plus the flawed consultation process, that the majority of residents and businesses who would be affected all along the coast are completely unaware of the Rampion 2 proposal.
“Rampion 2 if permitted will be the biggest wind farm with such tall turbines built so close to the shore anywhere in the UK.
“Given the existing Rampion 1 has one of the lowest power outputs of UK Wind Farms, with only a 35 per cent capacity factor, it beggars belief to propose such a huge extension in the same relatively low wind area.”
Chris Tomlinson, Rampion 2 development and stakeholder manager from RWE, said that, ‘following feedback and after further review’, it became clear that ‘some coastal residents did not receive consultation leaflets as intended’.
He added: “As this was a commitment from us, we are writing directly to all those addresses which were omitted, to provide an additional opportunity for those individuals to have their say on our draft proposals, by the closing date of April 11.
“The consultation documents that were available between 14 July and 16 September last year have not changed and those who have previously responded to our consultation do not need to resend their response. We will consider all responses in progressing our proposals.”
Rampion said the consultation did attract 12,500 visits last year.
The developers said this came as a result of an ‘extensive publicity campaign’, reaching across the whole area of interest in Sussex, ‘including a wide range’ of; radio and newspaper advertising; TV coverage; outdoor events; public notices; posters; billboards and leaflets, posted directly to addresses near the coast; the proposed onshore cable route and substation search areas.
“We held the largest consultation RWE has ever undertaken in the UK and are pleased with the turnout at our online public consultation,” Chris Tomlinson added.
“We would like to thank everyone for their valuable feedback so far.
“We are considering all the consultation feedback to help shape the project and we will have an update for the local community on proposed changes in the spring.
“We are aiming to submit our final proposals to the Planning Inspectorate by late summer.
“If approved, Rampion 2 would be up and running later this decade, in time to contribute to the crucial Government target to quadruple offshore wind capacity by 2030, in its goal to reach net zero.”
Click here to see the consultation.
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