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‘Offshore wind farm for Devon coast is simply rubbish’ 

The White Cross Offshore Wind would see eight floating turbines constructed 52km from the North Devon coastline. But some people are not happy about the prospect.

The site is predicted to cover an area of 50km² – the size of approximately 7,000 football pitches – and would provide renewable energy [equivalent to the use of] 135,000 households. The project forms part of a nationwide effort to reach net-zero by 2050, with White Cross Offshore Windfarms predicting the site will reduce carbon dioxide by 215,000 metric tonnes each year.

White Cross Offshore Windfarm Limited, which is a joint venture between Cobra and Flotation Energy, last month took a significant step in the project’s development by submitting its onshore planning application to North Devon Council.

The associated cable route has been selected based on extensive consultation and feedback. It’s proposed to make landfall at Saunton Sands, connecting to the electricity grid at East Yelland substation. Ensuring the efficient transfer of energy to the grid, a new onshore substation unit is also being proposed, close to the existing East Yelland substation.

Developer says the project will play a key role in supporting the growth of a regional supply chain in the Southwest of England, whilst also developing new jobs and skills for local communities. Acting as a key stepping stone, the White Cross floating wind project will also support the scale-up of subsequent offshore wind developments in the Celtic Sea region and beyond.

But some locals are not impressed. One person, writing to our sister print title the North Devon Journal, says the scheme is simply rubbish and should be withdrawn. Read the full letter below:

Our fantastic oceans are becoming industrial parks and wildlife pushed to extinction

Putting it as politely as I can, the White Cross offshore wind factory is a rubbish scheme and should be withdrawn. I attended several badly advertised consultations.

Their reps were pleasant enough but were surprisingly ill-informed and failed to answer even the most basic questions and did nothing to inspire confidence in this scheme.

Frankly, it’s one of the most arrogant pieces of planning communications I’ve ever seen. It was almost as if they felt this scheme was ‘a given’ and thought they could push it through North Devon Council.

Selaine Saxby’s comments were brutally frank: “I have grave concerns that councillors and our planning department do not have the knowledge or capacity to adequately assess this proposed development”. I’ve often thought that myself!

TTEF, Braunton PC , Save our Sands and Save our Estuary have objected to this proposal and hundreds of local people. It was disappointing – but not surprising that Fremington District Cllrs Denton and Beiderman support this scheme – and for the enormous substation 100x50x10 mts to be built along our precious Tarka Trail at Yelland despite our disappearing wildlife.

I totally support the views of local Braunton resident Ruth MacDonald in your article: “Council ready to ‘kick up a stink’ over cabling work for offshore wind farms” when she states: “White Cross’s handling of this chaotic consultation process gives little confidence that the project will go smoothly, but if this is given the go-ahead I suspect the parish council will be powerless to have any impact on the work that is actually carried out, whether or not the proposed mitigation works or not, whether or not it damages our parish, our lives or our economy”.

An overwhelming number of residents of Braunton and Saunton have done brilliantly in exposing this circus of a project. This is absolutely not a ‘green’ scheme as Cllr Shapland points out and will destroy an important natural environment.

Have we learned nothing from the debacle that was the Atlantic Array? Multinational power companies are motivated solely by profits not what is environmentally friendly. No matter how much The Green Party are obsessed with renewables and deny this – turbines are being buried in landfill at the end of their lives. This is the legacy we are leaving behind for future generations. How is this going to save the planet?

Cllr Graham Bell in a separate article states: This is a test site and was concerned that the government could pull the project construction like it did with HS2 and leave a huge disturbance to the environment. He is perfectly correct.

In the US (who were leaders in this field) it’s already happening with wind companies pulling out of turbine projects because it’s too expensive and there is now a backlash against ‘green junk’ with over 15,000 abandoned wind turbines littering the landscape – symbols of a dying climate religion.

Headlines in the States of: “Alarming increase in whale deaths blamed on wind energy projects unprecedented in the last half-century” and “Are Turbines killing Whales and Making Them Batty”.

Whales are dying all along the East Coast and washing up regularly. The power companies/Green Party will of course deny this – just as they did regarding these bird-killing machines and supported the Atlantic Array.

Seriously, who goes to the beach to look at an industrial power plant and whirling landscapes? Our fantastic oceans are becoming industrial parks and wildlife pushed to extinction. They deserve better.

Joanne Bell,
Save our Estuary
West Yelland

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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