Atlantic Array opponents host public meeting against plans

RWE npower renewables offshore wind farm off the coast of north Wales
Image caption The company is behind the North Hoyle windfarm off north Wales

Campaigners against a proposed wind farm off the north Devon coast are trying to rally public support as the consultation period draws to a close.

Members of the Slay the Array campaign will parade through Barnstaple behind "Don't Kill North Devon" banners, before holding a public meeting.

The government has agreed to consider planning permission for 240 turbines known as Atlantic Array.

It is claimed the turbines could power 900,000 average UK households a year.

Members of the Slay the Array campaign say this could be the "last chance to save one of Britain's greatest treasures".

'Kind of madness'

They are being supported by writer and broadcaster James Delingpole, who said he "fell in love" with the area when he visited it on holiday.

"I know that a kind of madness has gripped Britain's energy policy, but I never believed for a moment that in a protected area like Lundy - one of the jewels in the British crown - that they would think of putting this enormous great wind array - it beggars belief," Mr Delingpole said.

The Atlantic Array project will be sited about 10 miles (16km) off the south Wales coast and 8.7 miles (14km) off north Devon at the nearest points.

RWE npower renewables - the company behind the plans - said it had worked to reduce the visual impact of the turbines.

But Mr Delingpole said he did not think this was possible.

"How do you reduce the visual impact?" he asked.

"The sea is essentially flat, you will see these enormous structures a long long way off. There is no way you should build a wind array in such an environmentally sensitive location."

'Thorough consultation'

RWE npower renewables said the Atlantic Array remained a significant project capable of making a large contribution to the UK's energy needs.

"We have carried out thorough consultation and feedback received has fed into the design of the wind farm application," the company said in a statement.

"The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) is now leading the examination and all interested parties have until 16 September to register.

"PINS will be undertaking their own outreach events in early September to provide impartial advice on the examination process.

"I would urge interested parties to attend one of these outreach events and to refer to the planning documents for further information on the proposal to draw an informed opinion on the project."

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