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Vattenfall offshore wind farm extension in Thanet rejected

Plans for a new cluster of wind turbines off the coast of Thanet have been blocked.

The proposals would have seen 34 turbines sited 8km from the shore, which would reportedly generate more power than the existing 100 turbines, which sit 12km off Foreness Point.

There are 100 turbines on the Thanet windfarm. Photo by Edward Thompson
There are 100 turbines on the Thanet windfarm. Photo by Edward Thompson

Business secretary Alok Sharma last night said the proposal by Swedish energy giants Vattenfall would not be allowed to proceed.

The company already operates several wind farms in the county, with offshore turbines in Thanet and the Kentish Flats, opposite Herne Bay.

Vattenfall stated in their initial application that the Thanet Extension would allow an expansion to the existing workforce of 75 people.

Danielle Lane, UK country manager for the Scandinavian organisation, said: "Naturally we’re very disappointed by this decision and will consider how we proceed from here.

"We continue to believe that Thanet extension would be an important development for the local area, for UK energy security, and for the drive to reduce emissions."

The wind farm extension has been blocked. Photo by Edward Thompson.
The wind farm extension has been blocked. Photo by Edward Thompson.

The extension would have had a capacity of up to 340MW and would be capable of supplying renewable electricity annually to the equivalent of about 282,000 UK homes.

The government was originally due to make a decision on the DCO in December, more than a year after the plans were submitted, but the deadline was pushed back after a request for further information.

Among the reasons given for refusal were a potentially-negative affect on the development of future ports and maritime navigation risk.

There was also concern the extension would have a substantial impact on space in the area, causing problems for ships travelling along the coastal region.

In the Secretary of State's decision letter, it said: "The Secretary of State notes that the Applicant failed to address to the ExA’s satisfaction questions as to how much additional spatial allowance should be made for vessels turning around the NE Spit racon buoy as well as other vessels crossing in the sea area, being a fishing ground and a location passed by a high density of service craft."

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