Atlantic Array wind farm rejected by North Devon councillors

Image caption People protested against the Atlantic Array wind farm ahead of the meeting

Plans for an off-shore wind farm double the size of any currently operating in Britain have been rejected by councillors in north Devon.

About 25 protesters against the Atlantic Array plan attended the North Devon Planning Committee meeting.

After two hours of speeches and debate, councillors voted 10 to three to reject the scheme on six grounds.

A final decision will be made by the Secretary of State next year.

RWE npower had said it would produce enough power for the average needs of 900,000 homes.

Councillors said they rejected the plans due to the lack of economic benefit to the area, damage to the beauty of north Devon and tourism and its closeness to the coast.

Campaigners had argued the amount of power produced would not outweigh the impact on north Devon.

Steve Crowther, from the Slay the Array group, said: "It was very important that we had from North Devon Council a clear indication that this was not a fait accompli and we are going to fight on."

Devon County Council and Torridge District Council have said they will not lodge major objections to the scheme.

The Atlantic Array will include up to 240 wind turbines in an area 200 sq km, 10 miles (16km) off the south Wales coast and 8.7 miles (14km) off north Devon at the nearest points.

RWE said it has worked to reduce the visual impact of the turbines.

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