Brighton offshore wind farm given mixed welcome by Friends of the Earth

Posted On 07 May 2012 at 9:20 pm

Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth has given conditional support to plans for the Rampion offshore wind farm proposed by the energy company Eon.

The environmental group said: “The wind farm is urgently required to reduce carbon emissions but Eon needs to do more to avoid damaging the South Downs National Park.”

It urged Eon to hold a full 12-week consultation once the detailed environmental reports come out rather than just the six weeks currently scheduled.

Friends of the Earth described the formal 12-week community consultation that ended yesterday (Sunday 6 May) as a good exercise in raising awareness but not a satisfactory consultation.

It added: “Very little technical information was released. For example, the environmental impact assessment was not published.

“The information that was presented was often inadequate, such as the lack of photo-montages, which has made it difficult for the public to make informed comments on the proposals.”

The campaign group said that it welcomed “the cabling on land being placed underground to reduce the landscape impact”.

However, Friends of the Earth said that Eon had failed to show how it had avoided a damaging impact on the national park.

Chris Todd, from Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, said: “We really want to see this development succeed.

“In this part of the country we have done little to develop renewable energy and we need to play our part.

“Rampion represents an important step towards reducing our carbon emissions and tackling climate change.

“However, that must not blind us to just accept any old development.

“Eon needs to demonstrate that impacts on the South Downs have been minimised as far as practicable.

“It seems odd that Eon requires a 14km cable route through the national park at a point where it is only 4km to 5km wide.

“We’ve just had a 12-week process which has been great at raising awareness about Rampion but not so good as a consultation.

“The lack of information has made it difficult for people to really engage.

“The next round of consultation will see a mountain of information released, with only six weeks allowed for responses.

“This is perverse and many people will struggle with such a short timescale.  Eon should reconsider.”

Friends of the Earth added: “The closeness of the start of second consultation to the end of the first raises suspicions that the consultation process is more of a tick box exercise rather than a real engagement with local people.

“Given the short amount of time between the two consultations, it is unrealistic that Eon will make any substantial changes, if at all, as a result of feedback received so far.”


  1. LordLiverpool Reply

    Its OK to have wind turbines off the coast of Liverpool, but oh no it’s not ok to have them off the coast of Brighton & Hove. A bad case of snobbery and nibbyism. Tough! Suck it up B&H! be glad you are getting them and be grateful they are offshore. Think where is the energy going to come from when fossil fuels run out???

  2. Kirsty Reply

    I am undertaking an MSc Coastal and Marine Resource Management degree at the University of Portsmouth and currently constructing a dissertation as part of my university requirements for the course. My dissertation aims to investigate the public’s perception towards the proposed Rampion offshore wind farm development at Brighton and I would be grateful if you could spare some time to complete this questionnaire.

    Your questionnaire responses will be strictly confidential and all data and information from this research will be used for academic purposes only and reported in the dissertation anonymously.

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