Thursday, May 31, 2012
Press release from Slay the Array
Atlantic Array 'scaled back' claim is wrong, say North Devon campaigners
NEW PLAN FOR BRISTOL CHANNEL WINDFARM IS 'A DISASTER' FOR NORTH DEVON'S VITAL TOURISM INDUSTRY
RWE npower's plan for the giant windfarm in the Bristol Channel is a disaster for North Devon, according to campaign group Slay the Array. The developer has not 'reduced' or 'scaled back' the proposal in response to public opinion, as has been claimed, but has increased the size of the turbines to be sited near the North Devon coast, the group says.
"The plan on the table is the same as before – but with one option removed", said Slay the Array spokesman Steve Crowther.
"The previous proposal said that they would use 417 big, 300 huge or 188 massiveturbines to create a (theoretical) capacity of 1500 MW. All they've done is remove the smaller-turbine option.
The company have now said that they will be choosing larger wind turbines for the development, ranging in height from 600 feet to 722 feet – almost twice the height of Lundy island.
"The capacity remains the same, and they now say they will use either the huge or the massive turbines to achieve it.
"This announcement is a ploy to make it look as though the developers have bowed to public opinion. In fact, they have not reduced the size of the development at all. Like the 'extra' consultation they announced in January, this is part of a carefully choreographed PR campaign.
RWE have now made clear that they will be developing the southern part of the area they identified, using larger turbines. The machines will be erected on the Stanley Bank, which lies only 7.5 miles from Lundy.
The windfarm will therefore now be four miles further away from the South Walescoast, but remains only 9 miles from North Devon's surfing beaches and coastal walks.
"The closest point to the North Devon coast is 8.7m away – that's the same distance as from Fullabrook to Huntshaw Cross.
"Everyone in North Devon knows how visible the Fullabrook turbines are from right around the estuary basin – and these turbines will be twice the size of the ones at Fullabrook."
Threat to North Devon jobs
The confirmation that North Devon will bear the brunt of the windfarm's impact is terrible news for the region, says Slay the Array.
Tourism brings more than a quarter of a billion pounds a year to North Devon and accounts for 17% of employment.
"That's one in six people here whose jobs depend on tourism", said Steve Crowther. "People don't come here to see industrial machinery; they come to see unspoiled landscapes and seascapes.
"The North Devon fishing industry remains under threat, and there is no realistic prospect of the development creating any significant quantity of new jobs here, when South Wales has several large and well-equipped docks."