Yorkshire offshore wind farm given ministerial green light

Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne has granted consent for a major wind farm off the Yorkshire coast with potential to supply electricity to around 150,000 homes.

DONG Energy’s Westermost Rough scheme, five miles off the Holderness coast at Withernsea, will comprise between 35 and 80 turbines with a total output of 245MW. Ministers expect the project to create provide up to 1,000 jobs during the construction phase.

The consent, issued under the Electricity Act 1989, also authorises construction of an undersea cable and withdrawal of public rights of navigation in the 35 square kilometre area covered by the wind farm.

Huhne’s decision letter says that while the scheme will have some effects on visual amenity onshore, "they are not of such significance as to require withholding the grant of consent". It also accepts that the scheme may have some impact on fishing, but says this does not justify refusing permission.

Christian Skakkebæk, country manager for DONG Energy Renewables UK, said the announcement would allow the company to move ahead with detailed design and geotechnical investigations. "Westermost Rough is an attractive project which benefits from shallow waters, good wind resource and access to suitable ports," he said.

Westermost Rough is identified among the priority projects and programmes to be taken forward under the national infrastructure plan unveiled alongside chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement this week.

The decision letter is available here.

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