Wind turbines will be ‘major benefit’ to port

Fine Energy's artist impression of the proposed wind turbines on the outer layby, south of Basin Road SUS-141016-091319003
Fine Energy's artist impression of the proposed wind turbines on the outer layby, south of Basin Road SUS-141016-091319003

WIND turbines are to be installed at Shoreham Port, as part of its sustainable energy strategy.

Adur district councillors praised the authority for its approach, which includes solar panels already in place as well as the two new turbines.

Permission for the 100kw wind turbines at the pump house in Basin Road South, Southwick, was granted by the planning committee last Monday.

Councillor Pat Beresford said: “This is part of the port’s conservation masterplan and they are doing exactly what they should be doing. I think the port needs to be applauded for their approach to making every ounce of use of their renewables.”

Mr John Bradshaw, who lives on Shoreham Beach, spoke at the meeting to raise concerns about the effect on residents.

“What worries me is that this is the start of something big,” he said, referring to a much larger plan that was submitted in 1995 and thrown out on appeal.

We are sure that having the wind turbines will be a benefit to the environment, without inflicting or evincing any local harm

Peter Davies, Shoreham Port development director

Port development director Peter Davies said the new scheme was nowhere near the same scale and assured him there was only one other possible site being considered, for one or two turbines, in the future.

“Shoreham Port takes its responsibilities for the environment very seriously,” he added. “We are sure that having the wind turbines will be a benefit to the environment, without inflicting or evincing any local harm.”

Mr Beresford, who was on the council in 1995, said: “This bears no comparison with what was going on 20 years ago. That was a gung-ho scheme to make money and I don’t think it bears any relevance to what is happening here.”

Planning officer Peter Devonport said the wind turbines would be visible from certain vantage points and would be heard at times but that was outweighed by their value in producing renewable energy.

“The turbines are there to power the pump house, which is very close to them,” he explained. “That will provide electricity to power the pumping of water to replenish the locks. It also has a major regeneration benefit for the port.”

He said the port had been asked to put up an information board near the base of the turbines, to explain how they are being used.

Mr Davies said the installation would take weeks and the foundations a little longer, meaning the path would need to be closed on certain days. It was hoped the turbines would be operational by the end of the year.