CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY IN NORTH DEVON THIS YEAR. CONGRATULATIONS, EVERYONE, AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR FABULOUS SUPPORT.
Received this morning:
25 November 2013
Atlantic Array Project Update
I wanted to update you regarding the Zone 8, Round 3 offshore wind project in the Bristol Channel, known as Atlantic Array.
Due to the technical challenges specific to the zone, coupled with the current market conditions, it is uneconomic for RWE to continue with the Atlantic Array development.
The Crown Estate has agreed to RWE Innogy’s request to terminate the agreement for the Bristol Channel Zone, allowing RWE Innogy to stop its development activities in the Zone, and to surrender the option for the Atlantic Array project, thereby removing RWE Innogy’s seabed rights.
The Crown Estate has no plans to undertake further work on the Bristol Channel Zone for the foreseeable future. However, the area remains one that has a good resource. As the industry develops over the next decade and on the back of more viable technologies being demonstrated, expected innovation and cost reduction may in the future open up opportunities in the more challenging areas, such as in the Bristol Channel.
The decision to stop activity on Atlantic Array has not been taken lightly and RWE remains committed to offshore wind and our investment in renewables in the UK. We will now continue to focus on the other offshore projects which we believe are more technically viable within our extensive offshore pipeline of up to 5,200MW, in addition to completing the construction of our Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in the project.
Director of Offshore Wind
RWE Innogy GmbH
RECORD NUMBER OF INTERESTED PARTIES REGISTER FOR ENQUIRY
A total of 1775 organisations and individuals have registered as Interested Parties in the Planning Inspectorate’s examination of the Atlantic Array planning application – 97% of them against the scheme. The previous record for an offshore wind application was 212.
Huge thanks to everyone who stood up to be counted. The next step will be the Preliminary Meeting, which any IP can attend if they wish (but don’t have to), at which the Inspectorate’s agenda for the examination will be set, along with the deadline for receipt of Written Representations.
Then there will be a period of a few weeks for the Interested Parties to submit their Written Representations.
Keep an eye on this site and the Planning Inspectorate site to know where and when the Preliminary Meeting will be, and when you need to get your Written Representations in by.
Meanwhile… Slayer Joanne Bell of Save Our Marine Mammals has hit the jackpot with the European Commission, who have warned the Government that the Array may fall foul of their requirements for protecting endangered species – specifically, harbour porpoises. See the Daily Telegraph story here.
Following the narrow 5:4 vote by the Torridge DC Plans Committee to send ‘No objection in principle’ to the Atlantic Array on 10 September, the full Council have reversed that decision by a majority of 15:8. The debate followed a move by Cllr Chris Leather to have the decision ‘called in’ by the full Council.
Meeting on Monday 23 September in front of a packed gallery at Bideford Town Hall, the Council voted to suspend standing orders and allow some members of the public to speak. SlayTheArray member Joanne Bell of SOMM spoke along with staunch supporter Derek Green, General Manager of Lundy Island, who said that the Array would be “a nail in the coffin for Lundy”.
Slay member Penny Mills of CPRE commented afterwards: “This was the right result and the council should have come to this decision two weeks ago. This proposal is the biggest development in this area in living memory – it’s so important. It’s not a planning decision and it should have gone to full council in the first place.”
HUGE RESPONSE TO OUR CALL FOR SUPPORT
Thank you to everyone who answered our call to register as an Interested Party with the Planning Inspectorate. The ‘relevant representations’ have not been published yet, but the sequence of registration numbers suggest that at least 800, and possibly more than 1000 people have registered. The previous record for an enquiry was 212.
If you have registered, please start preparing your Written Representation to expand upon your original comments when registering. These could be required in around 6 weeks’ time. Have a look at the developers’ proposal, find (in the mass of paperwork) the bits that deal with your areas of concern, and write down the details.
We’ll let you know when the Written Representations are needed.
LATEST NEWS: TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL CALLS ATLANTIC ARRAY DEBATE INTO FULL COUNCIL MEETING AFTER CONTROVERSIAL PLANS COMMITTEE DECISION. The meeting will take place at Bideford Town Hall on Monday 23 September at 6.30.
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10 SEPTEMBER, 16.30 – TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL PLANS COMMITTEE HAVE VOTED BY 5:4 TO ACCEPT THE RECOMMENDATION OF THEIR OFFICERS TO REGISTER ‘NO OBJECTION IN PRINCIPLE’ TO THE ATLANTIC ARRAY.
THE NDC PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETS AT BARNSTAPLE CIVIC CENTRE ON WEDNESDAY (11 SEPT) AT 2.15PM. REGISTER TO SPEAK (3 MINS MAX) BY CONTACTING MRS GRIGG ON 01271 388253
Steve Crowther writes: NDC/TDC’s Joint Head of Strategic Development and Planning Kate Little told the TDC meeting that TDC have ‘no jurisdiction’ beyond the low-water mark, so would only be relevantly considering the landfall and onshore aspects of the Array. Can’t wait to hear what she tells NDC, which has no landfall/onshore construction.
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150 PARADE THROUGH BARNSTAPLE TO RAISE AWARENESS
With less than 3 weeks to go before the deadline for registering as an objector to the Atlantic Array, 150 Slayers raised awareness of the issue among North Devonians with a parade through Barnstaple on Saturday morning, 31 August.
After walking through the High Street and Boutport Street to The Square, they attended a public meeting at The Park Hotel to highlight how to register a ‘Relevant Representation’ to the Planning Inspectorate before the deadline of 16 September.
SLAY WELCOMES CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE PETER HEATON-JONES
Slay The Array spokesman Steve Crowther welcomed a new member of the alliance on 22 August, when Conservative Parliamentary candidate for North Devon Peter Heaton-Jones joined the group.
Steve and Peter, with Slay members Bob Gotts and Mike Pagram, made the announcement to the North Devon media at Morte Point, overlooking the site of the monster. The news was carried on the BBC Devon news bulletins during the day.
Slay The Array announced that there will be a parade through Barnstaple, from North Walk to The Square, next Saturday 31 August, followed by a Public Meeting, to draw the public’s attention to the need to register their objections to the Atlantic Array before September 16th.
See the press coverage here:
Press Release 12.07.13
ACCEPTANCE OF PLANNING APPLICATION FOR UK’S LARGEST WIND FARM SPELLS POTENTIAL DISASTER FOR NORTH DEVON
Following the announcement that the Planning Inspectorate has accepted an application from Channel Energy Ltd to build the UK’s largest offshore wind farm consisting of 240 700-foot turbines, off the North Devon coast, Steve Crowther of campaign group Slay The Array said:
“North Devon is now in mortal danger.
“The jobs of one in six North Devonians depend on the visitors who come here for nature, tranquility and unspoilt views; a 10% fall in tourist numbers would cost the area £30m a year.
“Our fish, birds and sea-mammals will be under threat, our fishermen out of work, and our shipping lanes an accident waiting to happen. Lundy will cease to exist as we know it.
“We face years of pile-driving, onshore construction and despoiling of the sea-bed, to build a massive white elephant producing intermittent electricity at three times the market cost.
“All this, in the second-best location for tidal power generation in the world!
“Tell everyone. We must fight this to the death.”
PLANNING APPLICATION NOW SUBMITTED FOR 240 TURBINES, 77 SQ MILES
[20 June 2013] RWE has now submitted an application for Development Consent for its revised project, involving ‘only’ 240 turbines over a 77 square-mile area (twice the size of Bristol),11 miles off the North Devon coast (and 9 miles from Lundy).
The PI will decide on 12 July whether to accept the application. A few days later, RWE will issue a ‘Section 56′ notice announcing that the application has been accepted (if it has).
That announcement will include notice of a 28-day period during which anyone can register to make a Relevant Representation (RR). This is the ONLY way to become an Interested Party (IP) in the enquiry – and Interested Parties are the only real players from then on. But YOU can be one – we all can!
Start thinking about your Relevant Representation now – in other words, on what grounds do you object to the building of the Atlantic Array. It doesn’t have to include all your evidence or background facts, just the grounds for your objection.
We’ll get back to you at the right moment to help you through the process.
The battle is on. As the Sunday Times reported on 16 June (quoting us and others): Giant wind farm will be ‘a disaster’ for Devon. A scheme to build one of the world’s biggest offshore wind farms in the Bristol Channel will devastate some of Britain’s most beautiful holiday destinations, campaigners in north Devon and Gower have warned.
WATCH THE FILM BELOW TO SEE THE WHOLE HORRIBLE STORY…
NEW FILM SHOWS HOW ATLANTIC ARRAY WILL AFFECT OUR COASTS
A new film for the EFD by Ben Pile and Steve Crowther shines a light on the Government’s energy policy as its emphasis swings towards massive offshore windfarms. Featuring a simulation of the Atlantic Array from the North Devon coast (at 1min 50sec), Lost Horizons takes a critical look at the policies driving ‘the great wind rush’, from their origins in the EU through to their effects on local economies, people and the environment.
UK and European energy policy is driving huge investment in wind technology, through massive subsidies. Yet increasingly, politicians and the general public are becoming aware that, no matter how many giant wind turbines are erected across our countryside or around our shores, wind power can’t solve our energy problems or save the planet, and is simply making landowners richer and consumers poorer.
Steve Crowther talks to people who are concerned about the huge new wind arrays now being planned all round the country, and especially the giant ‘Atlantic Array’.
A rising tide of public opinion is pushing the UK government to abandon its obsession with wind power – but will the change come in time to save the country’s precious land and seascapes?
Then join us in our fight, by signing up to Slay The Array (right). We need tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands of people to join us, if we’re going to convince the politicians not to allow this pointless ruination of our coast.
SLAYERS RESPOND TO RWE CONSULTATION IN DROVES
ROUND 1. Huge thanks to the hundreds of people in North Devon, South Wales and elsewhere who submitted their objections to RWE npower before the closing date of the latest consultation phase on 31 August. More than 250 objections were copied to us, and well over a thousand new Slayers joined us. They are still joining steadily every day.
ROUND 2. RWE will now submit its application for development consent (ie planning application) to the Major Infrastructure Planning Unit of the Planning Inspectorate. If it is accepted, there will be an opportunity to register a formal objection to the scheme.
Watch this space for news; and use the time to keep examining the RWE Consultation Documents to identify suitable grounds for objection.
The strength of the objections from the National Trust and others suggest that we have a strong and powerful case to put to the Government on this. Keep digging, and let us know what you find.
BREAKING NEWS: SWANSEA CITY COUNCIL VOTES AGAINST ARRAY
City and County of Swansea Council last night voted to accept a report from its Planning Officers, opposing the planned Atlantic Array. With 38 of the 72 Councillors present, the vote was 28 against the Array, 8 in favour of it, 2 abstentions.
This contrasts with the Carmarthenshire Council, two days before, which voted to approve the plan, despite its Planning Head reportedly saying that on a clear day the view of the windfarm would ‘visually overwhelming’.
WE NEED YOUR HELP 31 Aug 2012
One of the world’s largest offshore windfarms – the ‘Atlantic Array‘ – is proposed to be built between the North Devon and South Wales coasts. It would consist of between 188 and 278 turbines, up to 720 feet high.
These coastlines are some of the most unspoilt natural landscapes and seascapes in the country. They are Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and include a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the UK’s first Marine Conservation Zone and huge swathes of National Trust protected land.
Both North Devon and Gower are fragile economies heavily dependent on landscape-based tourism. The Bristol Channel is a unique marine environment containing rare and protected species.
This is the wrong place to put wind turbines.
THAT’S WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP TODAY.
We need you to do 4 things, before next Friday, 31 August.
1. Scroll down to see why we believe this plan is wrong.
2. Follow the links to see the various grounds for objecting, and create an email objecting on the grounds you believe are most important.
3. Email your objection to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 August; and copy the North Devon MP (and Government Minister) Nick Harvey email@example.com, your own MP or AM, and us, here at Slay The Array.
4. Copy this story to as many of your friends and contacts as possible, so that they can do the same.
Why do we object?
Location: this site is not ‘offshore’ but ‘inshore’, and it’s certainly not in the Atlantic. It’s between some of the most beautiful and unspoilt coastlines in the country, and will stretch across the horizon. See the developer’s photomontages here and the National Trust’s here (scroll to the end of the document).
Wildlife: the site is the UK’s only Marine Conservation Zone. These waters include rare corals, harbour porpoises, dolphin, grey seals, minke whale and large numbers of migrating seabirds.
Economy: these coasts are famous tourist destinations; the jobs of one in 6 people working here depend on tourism. Our fishing fleet will fold, and new jobs created will be negligible.
Construction: this will take up to 11 years to construct. As well as fixing the turbines to the seabed, they will trench up to 765 miles of cables into the seabed, connecting to a 33-acre onshore substation via a 9-mile 30m-wide cable trench. It will involve shifting more than 9 million cubic metres of seabed ‘spoil’.
Technology: the Bristol Channel has the second highest tidal range and fastest tidal flows in the world. It is tailor-made for tidal power generation.
Energy: there continue to be serious doubts about large-scale wind, which is intermittent, variable, unpredictable, very difficult to manage onto the grid and requires back-up from new gas-fired power stations. This huge project will contribute only 0.5GW to the government’s 25GW renewables target by 2020.
Take a look at Rebecca Konig’s excellent 15-min film about Lundy and the Atlantic Array.
GROUNDS FOR OBJECTING:
Here are some legitimate grounds for objection which have already been identified by people reading the 140 documents that RWE has published, with links to the original documents from both RWE and the various objectors.
The ‘must read’ is the National Trust response, which shows why this is, even by the government’s own criteria, the wrong place to build a huge wind farm.
PLEASE HELP, AND ASK EVERYONE ELSE YOU KNOW WHO VALUES THIS UNIQUE AND UNSPOILT AREA TO HELP AS WELL.
LATEST NEWS – 29 AUGUST
Carmarthenshire Council ‘offer no objection’ to Atlantic Array scheme
Read the full story in the Carmarthen Journal here
The City and County of Swansea will be voting tomorrow (30 August). Their Planning Officers are recommending REFUSAL.
APPLICATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT PUBLISHED 4 JULY
Exhibitions in N Devon and Wales from 12 July to 1 August
Atlantic Array developer RWE-npower-renewables has given notice of its intention to apply for a Development Consent Order (ie planning permission). The proposed application, draft Environment Statement and Non-Technical Summary is available from 4 July at www.npower-renewables.com/atlanticarray
See their notice at http://www.lloydslist.com/ll/static/classified/
The application is for 278-188 (sic) turbines with a maximum tip height up to 220-180m respectively – this is surely wrong, as the height is in inverse relationship to the number; plus (up to in all cases) 5 met masts; four offshore substation platforms; three accommodation platforms; subsea cables inc 8 subsea export cables; onshore underground jointing pits; 14.3km of onshore cable; an onshore substation at Alverdiscott comprising three compounds in an area of 13.4 hectares (33 acres – down from 60 whoopee!); three 14m high buildings, etc.
The full plans will be available at libraries in North Devon and South Wales from 4 July to the end of August. Meanwhile RWE will be staging one-day ‘exhibitions’ from 12 July in Abbotsham, Barnstaple, Woolacombe, Bideford, Croyde, Alverdiscott, Ilfracombe, Pembroke Dock, Bury Port, Rhossili, Swansea, Port Talbot and Porthcawl.
The proposal invites written responses by post, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or feedback forms on their website (www.npower-renewables.com/atlanticarray) by 5pm 31 August 2012.
Watch this space for more info and guidance!
RWE ANNOUNCES ‘REVISED’ PLAN: LARGER TURBINES, NEARER N DEVON*
Developer RWE npower has announced a ‘revised’ plan for the Atlantic Array.
Claiming to be responding to public consultation, RWE says it has ‘scaled back’ the proposal; whereas in fact it has simply narrowed the options, by eliminating the idea of 417 smaller (160m/525ft) turbines, in favour of 278 larger (180m/590ft) machines or – more likely – 188 huge (220m/722ft) ones to create the 1.5GW capacity it intends to build.
It has also confirmed that these turbines will be built over 260 sq km on the North Devon side of the Bristol Channel, starting just 8 miles from Lundy and 9 miles from the mainland coast at Morte Point. In the developer’s own words:
“The results of our assessments have identified an area called Stanley Bank, which is just to the north of Lundy Island, to be an excellent location for a wind farm giving the potential to generate clean, home-grown energy. Consequently, there is no change in the distance of the wind farm from Lundy, or from the closest points on the North Devon coast.”
*Wales is a little more fortunate; the array area is now 14 miles from their coast, four miles further than before.
We now await publication of the all-important Environmental Impact Assessment which was apparently analysed before making this decision. Mind you, we also await the results of the tourist survey which was carried out more than a year ago, and whose results we were promised at the public consultation before Christmas. Holding our breath…
New Atlantic Array plan is a ‘disaster’ for North Devon
Read the press release 30.05.12
Listen to the BBC Radio Devon interview 30.05.12 (2.00 hours in)
What can YOU do?
• Read this website and the RWE proposal
• If you agree with us, leave your name, email and postcode (just so we know where you hail from)
• Get all your friends to do likewise
• Watch this space!
Organisation affected by the array? Write to us and become a Slayer.
Who are we?
Slay The Array is a co-ordinating alliance of people who oppose the Atlantic Array – a plan by RWE/npower which aims to put between 188 and 278 giant wind turbines in the mouth of the Bristol Channel, starting in 2015.
According to the RWE/npower plan the turbines would be between 590 and 722 feet high and cover an area of around 260 square kilometres, starting 13km (8 miles) north of Lundy island.
Slay The Array brings together people, information, resources and ideas to make sure that we concentrate all our efforts on making sure that it is never built.
This website was created on 1 December 2011. It grows and expands as we develop and more people join us. Keep visiting to see how we grow, and tell everyone who sympathises with us to visit us too. In the meantime, here are two important questions. Click on them to see the answers.
NEWS Developer publishes Summary of public consultation; delays submission of planning application to ‘Q4 2012′. Read more