THE RAMPION offshore windfarm was given the green light last week after £1.3 billion of funding.
The major project will be visible along the coast of the Herald and Gazette area – but will residents see many of the promised benefits?
As ever, this type of build comes with some impressive numbers.
Hundreds of jobs, hundreds of thousands of homes powered and huge investments.
But it is always wise to treat such figures with a degree of cynicism.
When local authorities considered the plans – albeit on a consultation basis, not a decision-making role – there was understandable scepticism surrounding job creation.
How many Adur and Worthing residents, for example, will be involved? Is the area a hotbed for specialist engineers and other roles which will be required? How ‘local’ will the subcontractors be?
Undoubtedly, there is likely to be some benefit to local businesses but time will tell how much work comes this way.
While many green campaigners and residents have been positive about the windfarm, there are always likely to be objectors.
County councillor Michael Cloake, for example, has remained cautious throughout, this week telling the Herald he was doubtful over the benefits of wind power.
He argues wind power is ‘inefficient at best’, to which he may have a point.
But he continues to ask if we should risk blighting our stunning seafront and downland views for the sake of an initiative which may prove unreliable.
On this point, I struggle to be sympathetic.
Seafront apartments, some of which are priced north of £1 million, have been popping up on Worthing seafront in the past few years.
The turbines will be around eight miles off shore and while they may be visible, I cannot see them sticking out like sore thumbs.
At the tender age of 24, I am not convinced my eyesight will even register them at that distance – let alone cause a distraction likely to ruin the sea view.
If the main concern of affluent occupiers in their grand penthouse suites is a few dots on the horizon, it rather appears like a bad case of ‘first world problems’.
I for one cautiously welcome the investment, yet remain to be convinced on some of the numbers.
* Finally, I know what many readers are thinking. Last month I penned a ‘farewell’ column, yet here I am once again.
Half of the last column was correct – I do now have a new role – but I will be continuing in the short-term while a replacement is found.
You cannot get rid of me that easy!
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