Atlantic Array feedback revealed

RWE npower renewables publishes public feedback from offshore wind farm consultations.

LOCAL feedback on the proposed Atlantic Array Offshore Wind Farm has been released by RWE npower renewables.

The company held six public exhibitions in North Devon last autumn as part of its first round of public consultation on the giant Bristol Channel turbine scheme.

More than 750 responses were received from members of the public and a consultation summary report published today (Wednesday) highlights the key topics that local people think should be considered by the project team.

Of the offshore issues raised, the visual impact from the land (31 per cent of all concerns) and the potential impact on birds (18 per cent) made up the chief concerns.

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Other offshore issues centred around the potential impacts on marine mammals (16 per cent); tourism (13 per cent); the Lundy Marine Conservation Zone (eight per cent); shipping safety (six per cent); fish and shellfish (five per cent); and surfing (three per cent).

The overwhelming concern relating to onshore issues involved potential impact to the ecology and environment (45 per cent of all concerns).

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Other onshore issues raised touched on noise impact (20 per cent); disruption from construction traffic (19 per cent); effects on existing infrastructure (11 per cent); impacts of construction workers (three per cent); and onshore cable safety (two per cent).

Robert Thornhill, Atlantic Array development manager, said: “The first stage of consultation allowed us to hear the views of local communities on the proposed wind farm and discuss any queries members of the public had.

“We were very pleased with the level of interest and would like to encourage people to take part in the next stage of formal consultation later this year.

“The feedback we receive is essential to the wind farm development process and will be considered as work on the proposal progresses.”

RWE said nearly 2,000 people attended formal consultation events in North Devon and South Wales.

The company received 393 feedback forms, as well as 112 letters and 221 emails.

Responses collected will be considered by the project team preparing a draft Environmental Statement that will also go out to public consultation later this year.

A summary of all comments will be included in the company’s formal planning application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission, now set to be submitted this autumn.

The consultation report, as well as further information on the Atlantic Array Offshore Wind Farm, can be viewed by clicking on the link on the top right of this page. Copies can also be viewed at local libraries.

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