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Atlantic Array application submitted to planning inspectorate

PUBLISHED: 10:15 18 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:48 18 June 2013

How the proposed Atlantic Array offshore wind farm might look. This image shows the North Hoyle offshore wind farm, situated in Liverpool Bay in North East Wales.

How the proposed Atlantic Array offshore wind farm might look. This image shows the North Hoyle offshore wind farm, situated in Liverpool Bay in North East Wales.

Archant

Application for around 240 turbines off the coast of North Devon submitted on Friday.

AN APPLICATION to build the UK’s largest offshore wind farm in the Bristol Channel has been submitted to the planning inspectorate.

Channel Energy Ltd submitted the Atlantic Array application for around 240 turbines and associated onshore works just 16km from the North Devon coast on Friday.

The planning inspectorate will look at the application over the next 28 days and decide whether or not to accept if for consideration.

The final decision to grant or refuse planning permission will lie with the Secretary of State, but both North Devon Council and Torridge District Council will have a role in the process if it is accepted for consideration.

Both planning committees will give a response on whether a development consent order (DCO) should be granted for the scheme.

Councillor Mike Edmunds, executive member for the strategic planning at North Devon Council, said: “If the application is accepted for consideration, both Torridge District Council and North Devon Council will have an opportunity to put forward their views on the development.

“It’s a big deal for the local area so it’s important that we consider everything and make the appropriate recommendation to the Planning Inspectorate.”

Rose Lock, chairman of Torridge’s plans committee, added: “As a statutory consultee, members at Torridge will have a lot to discuss if the application is accepted.

“There’s no doubt that local residents will have plenty to say about the Atlantic Array proposal, so we will have to make sure we look at everything very carefully before submitting any comments to the inspectorate.”

Geoff Fowler, chairman of the Atlantic Array steering group, said the group has been investigating the on and offshore impacts of the development.

“Although a government decision is some way off, we also need to consider the balance in economic terms against any disruption to communities in northern Devon and any possible community benefits packages that will be forthcoming during the construction stage,” he said.

“This application is so important to us for so many reasons.”

Craig Harwood, project manager for the Atlantic Array, said the submission was an ‘exciting step’ for the project.

“Once the application has been validated, we will inform the local community, statutory consultees and non-statutory organisations that our application has been accepted through newspaper notices and by writing to those who were invited to comment on the application and those who provided feedback during consultation,” he said.

“This publicity will explain how and when to register interest in the application and make formal representations to the planning inspectorate.”

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