Plans to increase the size of the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, adding 90 new turbines to the site, are due to be considered by the government’s Planning Inspectorate later this year.
The Rampion 2 proposals would expand the site, off the coast of Brighton & Hove, East and West Sussex, doubling the size of the farm, with the new turbines between 1.5 and 2.3 times the height of the existing Rampion turbines.
If permission is granted, the development could provide green energy to around 1 million homes, saving around 1.8m tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
Following an initial consultation carried out by Rampion last year, Brighton & Hove City Council has been asked to comment on the proposals now that the application has been formally submitted.
At a meeting of the culture, heritage, sport, tourism and economic development committee next week (14 September,) councillors are being asked to give authority for planning officers to respond to the consultation, in order to meet strict deadlines set by the Planning Inspectorate.
If agreed, the council’s Executive Director of Economy, Environment and Culture, in consultation with the Chair of the Culture, Heritage, Sport Tourism and Economic Development Committee, would submit representations on behalf of the council.
This will ensure that the Council’s views on the scheme, and its potential impacts on the city, are taken into account when the Secretary of State determines the application.
Rampion 2 is considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). These are schemes the government considers so big and nationally-important that permission must be given at the national level.
Officers propose that the council’s response supports the principle of the development and its benefit to climate change.
However, it is recommended that it will make a strong case to secure benefits for the city in relation to the visual impact upon the city’s seafront and heritage features.
Meeting carbon neutral objectives
Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, Bella Sankey said: “Brighton and Hove is proud to host a nationally significant offshore windfarm on our beautiful coastline.
"We know that the future of our city - and our world - rests on sustainable energy production and we want to play our role in meeting our Carbon Neutral objectives and providing clean energy to potentially 1 million more homes.
"Renewable energy also holds the key to bringing down energy bills and putting money back into the pockets of ordinary people.
"We’ll be making the case that this should go ahead, but that Brighton must be recognised for the contribution we’re making and that the benefits of the scheme must be directly felt here in the city.”
The deadline for comments is expected to be in early November.
Brighton & Hove’s response will be published on the council’s website, and on the Planning Inspectorate’s website, relating to the application.