Atlantic Array: Bristol Channel wind farm proposal

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Plans for a huge offshore wind farm in the Bristol Channel are to go on show to people across south and west Wales.

Atlantic Array would be roughly 10 miles off south Wales and nearly nine miles off north Devon.

Meanwhile, the first minister has reiterated his frustration that big onshore wind farm decisions are to be taken outside Wales.

He warned that Welsh Government planning guidance had been overruled by Westminster.

The turbines will be visible from the Gower, Pembrokeshire and north Devon coasts.

Carwyn Jones, questioned by assembly members, said it meant large onshore wind farms could be built anywhere in Wales.

A consultation on Atlantic Array has been held in Devon and the first of seven exhibitions in Wales opens in Porthcawl at the Grand Pavilion today.

It is thought the development will cover an area of sea similar in size to the Isle of Wight.

Developers claim it could provide the equivalent of more than 90% of the domestic electricity consumption needs of Wales.

All this comes at a time when local councils and the Welsh Assembly are attempting to attract more tourism and watersports enthusiasts into south Wales.

Plans are already in the pipeline for Swansea Bay to become a 'centre of watersports excellence' and feature sports such as sailing, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, surfing, rowing, windsurfing and kite-surfing.

It will be very interesting to see how the proposed wind farm, spanning a large part of the Bristol Channel will effect local surfing and wind conditions at the surfing beaches in the area.

South Wales currently serves a large population of surfers, windsurfers and kite-surfers who travel from far away, to enjoy the excellent wind and wave conditions found along this stretch of the coast with the M4 corridor making it easily accessible.

A regeneration scheme is also going ahead in Porthcawl where a new Adrenaline Coast Festival gets under way next month (October 7-9). This includes a UK Pro surfing contest featuring 100 of the best UK surfers and a £2000 prize.

Read more about the wind farm story on BBC News.

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