Leadsom delays decision on Thanet offshore wind farm expansion

Energy secretary Andrea Leadsom has delayed a decision on plans for 34 new wind turbines in the Thames Estuary, partly in order to address concerns about the risk of collisions with shipping.

Energy secretary Andrea Leadsom (pic: Getty)
Energy secretary Andrea Leadsom (pic: Getty)

The secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy has announced a new deadline for a decision on Swedish power company Vattenfall Wind Power Limited’s development consent order application to extend its existing Thanet offshore wind farm.

Leadsom was due to make a decision on the application by 11 December.

The company has applied to the Planning Inspectorate for permission to erect 34 new turbines, capable of generating 340MW, on a site approximately 8km off the east coast of Kent.

Vattenfall also applied for associated infrastructure including a meteorological mast together with an offshore substation and a network of subsea cables.

The application includes proposals for an electrical connection between the offshore substation to Pegwell Bay in the district of Thanet and two cables to a substation at the nearby Richborough Energy Park.

Leadsom, who received the inspectorate’s report in September following an examination in
public, said her decision on the application will be delayed in order to receive fresh information.

In a letter sent to Vattenfall, she wrote that a statement confirming the new deadline for a decision would be made to Parliament after the general election.

The letter said that more information is required about a number of issues raised during the examination in public including the impacts from the proposed development on shipping, navigation and ports infrastructure.

In October, Leadsom delayed a planning decision on the troubled Wylfa nuclear power station in north Wales by five months in order to carry out additional consultation on issues including environmental mitigation.

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