Planning Application Submitted for Biggest Wind-farm in Europe in Bristol Channel
Controversial plans to construct a very large wind farm close to Lundy have moved a step closer to becoming reality as the developer, RWE Renewables, have applied for planning permission. We believe this enormous development would change the experience of Lundy for everyone, and we urge all those who care about Lundy to express their views on the scheme.
The proposal is for a wind-farm on an enormous scale, bigger in every respect than any currently standing in or around Britain. Up to 240 turbines are planned, more than in any existing UK wind-farm, with each turbine up to 220 metres high, taller than any in Europe, and 50% taller than Lundy itself. The wind-farm would stand just 9 miles to the north of Lundy, closer to the island than to any other landmass, surrounding the north end of the island. Because of its proximity to Bristol airport, each of the turbines on the outer edge will be topped with a red light that will flash day and night.
We fully support the need for renewable energy and have not objected to many other wind schemes near our buildings. However locations and infrastructure have to be carefully chosen, and we think that the Bristol Channel around Lundy is simply not the right place for a wind-farm on this scale. The ‘Array’ will dwarf the island, dominating its outstanding seascape, and overwhelming precisely the sense of remote wildness that has made Lundy a place of refuge for wildlife and visitors for centuries, if not millennia.
Why are we opposing this scheme:-
• Lundy is a place defined by its remoteness. It has been treasured for its wild isolation for many centuries. This sense of isolation will be lost with an industrial development of this scale and proximity.
• Government guidance states that wind-farms should only be built within 12 miles of the British coast if that coast is not judged environmentally sensitive. The Atlantic Array will be just 9 miles from Lundy which was the UK’s first Marine Nature Reserve, is a Special Area of Conservation, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and a Heritage Coast.
• For the last 50 years the Landmark Trust, the National Trust and thousands of volunteers have worked painstakingly to protect and enhance Lundy’s natural and historic environment, including protecting many rare species of plant, bird and marine life and conserving its 41 scheduled ancient monuments. Much of this work will have been in vain if the Atlantic Array goes ahead.
• Lundy has been kept a timeless place with almost no visible modern infrastructure over many decades; despite the 20,000 visitors it receives every year it doesn’t have a single metalled road, pavement or street light.
• Lundy has no light pollution and when the power is switched off every night, visitors have an incredible experience of the night sky. The flashing red beacons on the Atlantic Array will destroy this experience.
• Lundy is a fragile economic entity, even a small drop in visitor numbers could jeopardise its economic viability and the livelihoods of those who provide additional services for its visitors.
If you share our concerns we hope you will make your views known. In considering the application the Planning Inspector will take into account the views of ‘interested parties’, both individuals and institutions. You can register as an ‘interested party’ by submitting a brief outline of your concern between 1st August and 16th September on the National Planning Committee website. Alternatively you can download instructions on how to register here.