Wide swathes of countryside across north Essex could be dug up under plans to extend an offshore wind farm.
If approved, Five Estuaries Wind Farm’s blueprints will see the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm extended by up to 92 miles squared to allow the construction of 79 new turbines.
And the plans for the site, which is located 22 miles off the coast in the North Sea, could also enable a separate, controversial proposal for 111 miles of pylons.
National Grid has said Five Estuaries’ plan must connect into the hotly-opposed East Anglia Green plan for pylons at a new substation in Lawford.
It means landfall will need to be made between Frinton and Holland-on-Sea before space will be allocated for 12 miles of cables to run to Lawford.
Land between Lawford, Horsley Cross, Tendring, Thorpe-le-Soken and Great Holland could therefore be dug up, with huge trenches up to 60 metres wide put in place.
More than 21,000 people have signed a petition saying no to the 50 metre tall pylons which will run through three counties and past Colchester.
Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons Action Group campaigner Rosie Pearson, said it is “imperative” the pylons project is made an offshore one.
“National Grid telling Five Estuaries wind farm to connect to East Anglia Green is more evidence it made up its mind long ago about the pylons proposal,” said Mrs Pearson.
“This proposal is the tip of the iceberg, every two years there are more offshore auctions. Unless a proper, coordinated approach is taken, the Tendring peninsula will be dug up repeatedly.”
Residents have been invited by Five Estuaries to have their say in a public consultation, which runs until Friday.
Information boards published online by the wind farm operator state its bosses considered nine potential options for the cabling across the Essex coast.
They read: “Identifying where to bring the cables ashore is key for any offshore wind farm project.
“Eight [locations] were ruled out for either technical engineering reasons, proximity to residential properties or through potential for significant impacts to environmental constraints.
“The remaining option between Frinton and Holland-on-Sea was the only one which met our selection criteria.
“Further detailed site investigations are currently underway.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding