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Wind farm extension could see cables installed at Sandwich Bay

By Eleanor Perkins

A proposal to extend the offshore wind farm in Thanet by 50% could see cable routes installed at Sandwich Bay.

Swedish power company Vattenfall is developing a scheme that will bring the existing and operational wind farm at Margate closer to the coast by 4km.

The development would comprise of up to 34 additional turbines on the edges of the existing green energy site, 12km from Margate.

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm off the coast of Foreness Point, near Botany Bay

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm off the coast of Foreness Point, near Botany Bay

 

The nearest of the newer turbines will be located about 8km from the coastline.

One of the two potential cable routes being explored begins at Sandwich Bay.

Cliffsend Parish Council website says Vattenfall will be carrying out intertidal surveys using a drone which will fly over the proposed cable route at the bay from Monday.

Vattenfall is now inviting concerned residents to attend an early engagement meeting at Sandwich Guildhall from 2pm until 7pm on Thursday, January 26, to find out more.

Spokeswoman Mel Rogers said: “We intend to connect to the grid at Richborough, and there are two potential cable routes being explored at this stage – from Pegwell Bay to the north and from Sandwich Bay to the south.

“Whichever route is chosen, all cables would be buried underground.

“We want to hear your feedback on our proposal, the cable route options, and also your views on how we can minimise disruption and impacts during construction.”

Vattenfall is hosting information sessions for residents who want to learn more

Vattenfall is hosting information sessions for residents who want to learn more

The meeting is one of five being held locally. Another will be held at Cliffsend Village Hall from 2pm until 7pm on Saturday, January 28.

Ms Rogers added: “There will be maps and visuals available to help you consider the project, as well as members of our project team on hand to answer your questions.”

Vattenfall has been operating Thanet Offshore Wind Farm for six years. When it was built it was the world’s largest wind farm, and since that time it has produced enough renewable energy to power about 220,000 UK homes per year.

The company says the extension project will deliver multiple benefits like lower cost renewable energy plus investment in the local community and to employment.

Mayor of Sandwich Cllr Paul Graeme said: “I’m very eager to attend and to see how it will affect Sandwich and Sandwich Bay.”

The company hopes to deliver feedback to the public by March 2017, before the publication of a statement of community consultation between April and July.

This will be followed by a formal application for a Development Consent Order early in 2018 and a decision by the Secretary of State in 2019.

If you can’t make the meetings, visit vattenfall.co.uk/thanetextension to share your views.

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