Sussex offshore Rampion wind farm reduced in size

Computer image of wind farm off Brighton Image copyright Other
Image caption The wind farm would be visible from Brighton beach, as seen in this computer-generated image

A wind farm off the Brighton coast will have 59 fewer turbines following concerns about its impact on views from the South Downs National Park.

E.On said the Rampion wind farm would now include 116 turbines, rather than 175, built eight miles (13km) off the coast between Peacehaven and Worthing.

The energy provider revealed its final plans for the government-approved project on Monday.

The three-year construction of the wind farm is expected to start next year.

E.On said the site would generate electricity for up to 290,000 homes and would reduce CO2 emissions by up to 600,000 tonnes a year.

It also estimates that between 250 and 300 jobs will be created by the project.

'Visual impact'

E.On development manager Chris Tomlinson said: "Our final design seeks to optimise the scheme in the best seabed conditions as part of our continuing drive to reduce the costs of offshore wind.

"We're now finalising our construction plans and moving closer to being able to secure jobs during both construction and operation."

Concerns about the wind farm's impact on fishing and the environment - as the turbines would be visible from areas like the South Downs National Park - have previously been voiced.

Brenda Pollack, from Friends of the Earth South East, said: "We are really pleased to see this project moving forward and that Eon have taken into account concerns we had about the visual impacts.

"Although there will now be less energy produced due to smaller and fewer turbines it is still a substantial scheme which will help the country deliver cleaner energy sources to fuel our homes, businesses and public buildings."

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