Concerns over offshore wind farm impact on South Downs

image captionA computer-generated image of what the proposed wind farm would look like from Brighton beach

Environmental campaigners have raised concerns that an offshore wind farm could damage the South Downs.

Cabling for the Rampion wind farm, which is being developed by E.ON, will go underground in the national park.

Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth has given "conditional support" to the project but said not enough has been done to protect the coast.

E.ON said it had consulted widely and would continue to take feedback on board.

'Minimise impact'

Chris Todd, from Brighton and Hove Friends of the Earth, said: "We really want to see this development succeed.

"However, that must not blind us to just accept any old development.

"E.ON needs to demonstrate that impacts on the South Downs have been minimised as far as practicable.

"We are concerned about harm to the heritage coast and don't believe enough has been done to protect this area."

E.ON said: "Over the past 12 weeks we've consulted heavily across the county in the largest consultation E.ON has undertaken in the UK, resulting in over 4,500 members of the community visiting the public exhibitions to find out more about our Rampion wind farm proposals.

"Going forward, we will continue to take on board feedback, engage with the local community and work with conservations groups to minimise the impact of the wind farm on the National Park."

The Rampion wind farm would consist of 195 turbines.

E.ON recently installed a weather mast off the coast to measure wind speed, wave height and sea currents, to survey the proposed wind farm site.

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