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Energy company extends Sussex wind farm consultation
10:31am Tuesday 12th June 2012 in Business News
An energy company has extended its consultation on a wind farm after a senior Conservative MP said residents should be ‘bribed’ to accept turbines in their areas.
E.ON has launched further consultation on the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm. The wind farm would be located 13km off the Sussex coast at its nearest point and could feature between 100 and 195 turbines.
Following the 12-week community consultation period which ended on May 6, E.ON said it will now begin a further eight-week public consultation on the scheme from tomorrow.
It comes after Tim Yeo, the chairman of the Commons energy and climate change committee, said that the best way to win public acceptance was direct financial incentives. Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said residents should reap financial rewards from new schemes to generate cleaner power.
She said: “I agree that communities should be able to benefit from local renewables generation, particularly in terms of community ownership, as they already do in countries like Denmark – so if this is what Tim Yeo is proposing, then I would support it.
“The Government also needs to do a far better job of communicating the benefits, both environmental and economic, of investing in wind power and other renewables that will keep the lights on as the dirty power stations of the past go offline.
“Backing both offshore and onshore wind for the long-term means that we can protect ourselves from volatile oil and gas prices in future, be a world leader in a growing industry and create new green manufacturing jobs, as well as reducing our environmental impact.”
Hove MP Mike Weatherley said: “If there are incentives available for my constituents, I would, of course, argue for our fair share.
“But my impression so far is that many people locally welcome the scheme. It is not intrusive after all.”
Chris Tomlinson, E.ON development manager for the project, said the latest consultation will contain more detailed environmental information about the project.
He said: “This is the largest consultation E.ON has ever undertaken in the UK.
“Having doubled this additional consultation to eight weeks to allow more detailed discussions with the public and stakeholder groups, this brings the total period of consultation to 20 weeks with the community and wider public consultation combined.”
Responses to the public consultation should be sent to E.ON by email to email@example.com or by Freepost Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, by Wednesday August 8