Proposals for wind turbines the size of the Eiffel Tower have been slammed by campaigners calling for the project to be scrapped.
Zoe Visram, a member of the Middleton-on-Sea Coastal Alliance (Mosca), has criticised new plans which would see cables for the Rampion 2 extension cut across the South Downs.
Mosca, which has opposed the plans for several years, also condemned Rampion for cutting the project down to 90 turbines, saying this number was still far higher than initial suggestions.
Zoe said: “We were very upset to see that the cables will still cut through the South Downs, these are things that belong to the public and they are part of our heritage.
“We need to protect our wildlife for future generations, and it is the protected species in the area that are most affected.
“It’s a crime against the consumer and a crime against nature.”
The Rampion 2 project would see the 325m tall turbines added to the company’s existing offshore wind farm which stretches from Littlehampton to Brighton. These turbines are just under two and a half times smaller than those proposed in addition.
Rampion recently announced it would be reducing the number of turbines from 116 to 90. However, Mosca argues this is still higher than the initial proposal.
Rampion said the reduction in turbines would not affect projections for the amount of energy the wind farm can produce.
While the new project is labelled as an extension of the current site, Mosca said Rampion 2 is much closer to a new wind farm.
It also argues that while the new extension is set to power around a million homes in Sussex, other wind farms of a similar size which are placed further out to sea power around two million homes.
There is also concern that the new cable route proposed for the project would damage the Climping Beach Site of Special Scientific Interest.
In response Chris Tomlinson, development and stakeholder manager of Rampion 2, said: “The Rampion 2 site has an excellent wind resource and Rampion has always achieved or beaten its target generation. It is located close to a large centre of electricity demand – the population of Sussex – and the high-voltage transmission grid to connect the power.
“All wind farms need a cable route to connect to the grid. However, we assess the best routes to avoid important natural habitats and introduce appropriate construction methods to minimise impacts on the land and wildlife. In terms of land, reinstatement is swift and you can’t see the cable route for the original Rampion Offshore Wind Farm.”
A current route for the cables would begin in Littlehampton and wind its way through the Arundel and Washington areas of the South Downs to a substation in Cowfold.
A consultation for the route of cables for the Rampion 2 project launched on Tuesday last week. Residents can voice their concerns either in person or online until Tuesday, November 29.
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