Greater Gabbard windfarm: Plan to double number of turbines

A workboat is transferring staff to a turbine Work on the Greater Gabbard windfarm's 140 turbines is due to be finished by 2013

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Plans have been submitted to double the size of a windfarm which is already set to be the biggest in the world.

Greater Gabbard's 140 turbines are due to be completed by 2013, but developers have applied to extend the site off the Suffolk coast to 280 turbines.

The plans by Galloper Wind Farm Ltd will need to be examined by the Infrastructure Planning Commission before going to the secretary of state.

The 140 turbines will provide 1% of Britain's power.

If it wins permission, Galloper Wind Farm hopes to complete the 280 turbines by 2016.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous, Conservative, said: "The offshore opportunities present tremendous opportunities for the Waveney area."

Mr Aldous said the windfarm should provide plenty of employment opportunities for local people.

"We need to make sure that young people have the skills that companies are looking for.

"The government's proposals on apprenticeships do provide that opportunity but there is a lot of work on the ground: liaising with Lowestoft College, other skills providers, the developers and the supply chain companies to make sure we are laying on the courses which provide the skills that people need."

There have been concerns locally about increased traffic caused by the Greater Gabbard development and the new nuclear power station planned for Sizewell.

Ian Norman, chairman of Farnham with Stratford St Andrew Parish Council, said residents had not been given enough information about how they could be affected.

He said: "We are concerned about the traffic coming through the village but it's a bit of an unknown quantity at the moment."

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