Rampion 2 consultation meeting report.
The meeting was jointly organised by the East Beach Residents Association and The Littlehampton Society. It was held in the Millennium Chamber on Tuesday 24th August before an over full house of invited guests, including Denise Patterson (a Deputy Lieutenant of West Sussex) and Councillors. Members of the public were also admitted.
The aim was to clarify the wider implications of the Rampion 2 wind farm proposals with presentations by Dr Colin Ross, Rob Brown and Larry Haas. At very short notice the RWE team changed their minds and said they would attend (virtually) after all, which meant reducing the amount of time allotted to each item.
For RWE, Vaughn Weighill and Chris Tomlinson showed us a condensed version of their publicly available presentation on the merits of Rampion 2. Questions and Answers were to be allowed later as time permitted.
Local architect Rob Brown gave a shorten version of his presentation on the history of climate change awareness and its mitigation concluding with his support for renewable energy but rejection of the proposed siting of Rampion 2.
Dr. Colin Ross has given his presentation to a number of local councils, some now being opposed to the development. His website: protectcoastalengland.org contains all the information you could need if you were unable to attend the meeting itself. His shortened version, with visual displays, gave an insight into both the harmful effects of this project and also the comparative efficiencies of other existing wind farms. His researches, based on scientific method not anecdotal evidence, have lead him to oppose Rampion 2 and to observe that the present wind farms will be replaced by more efficient forms of power generation within a decade or so.
With the little time available to him, Larry Haas took us through the order and dates of the various consultations which will take place before the very final decision is made, it will be several years before this matter is approved or rejected.
RWE returned to answer a few questions from the floor: we were informed that migrations had shown little impact from Rampion 1, that their present proposals did not break government guidelines and that the project was financially viable. It must be said their assurances contradicted the facts laid out by Dr Colin Ross.
Public statements made by Nick Gibb MP for Bognor & Littlehampton and by Andrew Griffin MP for Arundel & South Downs were read out, both are opposed to siting this wind farm so close to the Sussex coast.
Sue Penn read the reasons why the Committee had decided to oppose Rampion 2 whilst being in favour of renewable energy. Janet Crosley gave a brief idea of the massive volume of flying insects to and fro across the Sussex coast, rare and common species, and also the seabed creatures and plants that will all be put at risk.
We were finally asked to vote on the following resolutions:
Participants in the community-led Public Meeting support and encourage all offshore wind power developments that fully respect Government policy and guidelines to avoid and minimise local harm.
This was carried with 76 votes.
Participants encourage ADC and WSCC to share Terms of Reference for their Local Impact Reports with residents for information and comment and have an open process to welcome community input/comment on the draft conclusions on the scope and significance impacts.
Participants feel that Rampion 2 EA should assess moving turbines 25 miles offshore as a “reasonable alternative”. A non-project alternative, as required in EIA Regulation 2017, should be an extension of a wind farm application in Dogger Bank.
Carried with 77 votes.
Our thanks to all who worked so hard to organise this event and the presentations. Special thanks to Elizabeth and Carlo for their audio/visual skills, also to Elizabeth for coolly co- chairing the meeting with David Warne of EBRA.