Atlantic Array: Bristol Channel wind farm proposal

Wednesday 21 September 2011, 16:06

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron

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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.

Map showing the area covered by the proposed new windfarm in the Bristol Channel.

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.

Have your say in the comments box below.

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    I dont want a wind farm just off the gower coast, as it an area of natural beauty,There are lots of other places in wales to put a wind farm, I totally disagree with this project

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    I usually agree with producing energy via wind farms but in this case I am totally AGAINST the proposed project, for siting a major wind farm in the Bristol Channel. The damage and disturbance to the sea bed has not been properly assessed. The impact on sea and bird life has yet again not been taken into consideration in any depth. The plans propose huge changes with unknown effects in a very sensitive area. There are other sites on land where the impact visually would not be so intrusive let alone drastically alter the environment... so NO,NO,NO to this proposal.


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