Developer of wind farm outlines land purchase notices

THE DEVELOPER which has gained approval for an offshore wind farm has announced plans for a series of compulsory purchase orders to install the project’s cabling network.

Approved earlier this month, the Rampion offshore wind farm will be visible from the coastline of Worthing, Adur and Arun.

With cabling meeting land at Brooklands and weaving its way towards a substation at Bolney, the developer last week issued a notice of land it will acquire to carry out the work.

The notice details agricultural land in Sompting, Lancing and Upper Beeding, among other locations along the way.

Upper Beeding Parish Council chairman Simon Birnstingl said: “As a council we had concerns about the possible effects it might have and the disruption it may cause but as a whole, the move to sustainables is worth it.

“As long as the land is made good when the work is complete, we are quite happy with it.”

Mr Birnstingl said the council had not heard from anyone who might be affected by the purchase orders but that was not to assume everyone was content with the project.

On a general level, he said he felt sustainable energy projects were the way forward.

“The very unusual weather of last winter shows we need to be looking at sustainable energy more,” he said.

Jenny Passmore, of Church Farm, in Coombes, Lancing, said the cabling will skirt across a corner of her land but would have a fairly minimal impact.

She said: “Because it just catches the edge of our land, it is fine, as far as we are concerned.

“It is not coming through any buildings, which is a good thing.”

Mrs Passmore added that although she loved the uninterrupted sea views, an offshore wind farm was more appealing than one on the South Downs and agreed with Mr Birnstingl that ‘green’ energy needed to be considered more.

While Church Farm will be largely unaffected, Applesham Farm, also in Coombes, Lancing, will have more land dug up to lay cables. But farmer Christopher Passmore said it was ‘too early to tell’ how much of an effect it would have.

He said: “It is one of those things and we are going to have to put up with it. There’s nothing we can do.

“It will obviously have an effect but we will be compensated. That’s how these things work.

“I would rather see them out to sea than on the South Downs but it’s too early to tell how much of an impact they will have.”

Construction on the 175-turbine project is scheduled to begin in 2015, with power expected to be first produced in 2018 or 2019.

It was given the green light by the Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey, after a lengthy consultation process with residents and local authorities.

The 700 megawatt farm could create power for up to 450,000 homes and generate a total of £2 billion for the UK economy, according to developers E.ON’s projections.