It’s time to have your say on the Rampion 2 wind farm proposal
The Planning Inspectorate has opened the registration process for commenting on the Rampion proposals. The registration period ends at midnight on 6th November. You can register as an Interested Party by clicking on the following link:
You must complete the Relevant Representation section. This is a short piece on issues you think are important. You can say anything so long as it isn’t rude or vexatious. You will have the opportunity to expand on this later in the process if you want to, but if you don’t want to take it any further, that’s OK too. But PLEASE- it is really important that you do register and say something just now to give the Planning Inspectorate an idea of the strength of feelings locally, but also so that they understand the key issues they need to return to in detail later on.
The main categories of things that the Planning Inspectorate will be looking at in the coming months are:
1) Local Impact –
-The wind farm would be 2.5 times the height of Rampion 1, and much more expansive, very visible from the entire Sussex coastline, the South Downs National Park
-The cable route damage along the South Downs National Park through ancient hedgerows and rare species breeding sites
-The windfarm would be a wall of Eiffel Towers (same height) in the path of essential bird, bat and insect migration routes
-The kelp regeneration is ongoing; the sedimentation from the construction and decommissioning with smother the kelp and the marine life within it will be at great risk
-Marine mammals and the benthic environment are at risk from piling impact
2) Due Diligence – are Rampion’s claims about the energy they can produce justified/ accurate, is the damage they will do worth it? Again remember, this is the whole project, onshore and offshore
3) Reasonable alternatives – for the windfarm location (Rampion 1 is only operational 33%of the time and in a migratory highway, and in a sensitive marine environment), the cable route and the substation placement
Some people have asked us to provide a template letter for those who feel they need some help with writing their Relevant Representation. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good idea as the Planning Inspectorate don’t like multiple identical responses. However, here are some ideas you might find helpful:
· First, say whether you support or are opposed to the proposals
· If you don’t feel you or the Littlehampton community have been properly consulted, say so. (Especially if you didn’t have any idea about it. Or perhaps you found out very late in the consultation process and missed engaging with the developer) The result of this is that they haven’t thought about the real consequences or effects of choosing this site, or properly considered the alternatives
· Mention any instances where you have asked Rampion questions and they have either not replied or you feel their reply has been misleading or downplayed the real impacts, such as traffic, nature, effects on local businesses/economy/life
· Say how you feel the proposals will affect you or your family – your daily life, health, view or recreational activities, your business or livelihood, your property value, etc.
· Talk about the impact on the area more widely, such as:
-The way this installation will affect insect, bird and bat migrations – like a bright reflective fence 325mtall across the Sussex Bay
-Effect on the South Downs National Park – the cable trench will be over 30km long and will be a 50m wide trench – this will cut through ancient hedgerows and remove trees, and the associated wildlife that will be disturbed
-Visual impacts from the South Downs National Park – it is Government policy to have a 25km buffer for large infrastructure projects and National Parks – this is not respected with this windfarm
-Health effects –noise (the operational noise will be infrasonic – a low frequency, high sound pressure level noise that is known to cause depression and stress). Constant red flashing lights on the turbine towers
-Impact on habitats– the Kelp Forest regeneration project and the species it contains – construction will last approximately 4 years and the pile driving sound pressure will exceed 160dB with each strike
-Also, the stress on cats and dogs terrestrially due to the piling noise
-Effect on tourism and associated businesses – the sound of piling will keep tourist away from the seaside, and on property value
You only need a sentence about each thing you want to say; bullet points are acceptable. You can expand on this later. It is really important to register and fill in a Relevant Representation, as otherwise you may not be allowed any further input into the examination as it progresses, to add something you think is important later. Even if you are already an Interested Party because you are a directly affected landowner, fill in the Relevant Representation to ensure you can have your say!
Only one person can be on each form. You cannot reply as Mr and Mrs Smith for instance, but you can call yourselves The Smith Family under ‘Organisation’, or you can send forms from different people using the same email address, so long as you clearly identify the person concerned. We will help if needed, as best we can.
There is no need to panic, take your time to say what you want to say. We are looking through the documents Rampion have submitted (you can see them too on the Planning Inspectorate website) and will send updates to think about including over the next few weeks.
More details to follow about the next steps when the time comes, but basically, you will have the opportunity in the next stage (Examination) to expand on your views if you want and to participate in the on-line question and answer process and even attend and speak at issue specific hearings. Consider asking in your representation for the relevant hearings to be held here, perhaps in the Millennium Chamber.
If you haven’t already done so, please also send these concerns to WSCC, Arun District council, and MPs
Please don’t give up; there is still everything to be gained by fighting. Nothing has been decided yet!