Concerns over windfarm go-ahead

Wind turbines farm in sea near Denmark
Wind turbines farm in sea near Denmark

The go-ahead has been given for a huge wind farm off the Yorkshire coast which could provide a major jobs boost for Bridlington.

Ministers have approved plans for Hornsea Project One which will be able to power around 800,000 homes and could see around 2,500 jobs created in the area.

Depending on the size chosen, between 150 and 332 turbines will be built 64 miles off the coast.

It is expected to be start operating by the year 2020.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “With around 2,500 local green jobs on the horizon, this is another great boost for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

“Making the most of Britain’s home grown energy is crucial to creating job and business opportunities in the UK, getting the best deal for consumers and reducing our reliance on foreign imports.

“Wind power is vital to this plan, with £14.5 billion invested since 2010 into an industry which supports 35,400 jobs.”

The project is a joint venture between Mainstream Renewable Power, Siemens Project Ventures GmBH and Dong Energy.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Simon Bowens said: “This is fantastic news for the blossoming offshore wind industry on the North Sea coast.

“Offshore wind is providing clean, reliable energy, while creating jobs and boosting energy security far more effectively than fracking.

“The UK could be an offshore wind powerhouse, but the Government must show much greater ambition if we are to reap the full benefits and continue to drive down costs in the years ahead.”

However, the RSPB has criticised the project due to the high collision risk for seabirds using the area.

Martin Harper, who is the RSPB’s conservation director, said: “The developer reduced the number of turbines to try to lessen the impact of the scheme. However, we believe the risks remain too high.

“These concerns will be front of mind when the RSPB examines the plans and considers the implications for Project Two – the second phase of the project.

“The decision is of even greater concern now that Government has drastically reduced the financial support available for offshore wind.”

The Flamborough Head and Bempton Cliffs area is designated as a Special Protection Area for nesting seabirds, including gannet and kittiwake. The Hornsea One Project site is 116km away from this site, but many birds nesting within the protection area visit this site to feed, the RSPB said.