UK: Environmentalists Raise Concern Over Effect of Offshore Wind Farms on Coastline

With an aim of reducing carbon emissions in half by 2020, Britain is pushing ahead with fast development of wind industry on its coastlines, The Telegraph reports.

Namely, the plan for this year is to reach the number of 3,500 wind turbines, which underlies construction of additional 300 wind turbines, out of which 250 turbines are supposed to be located in a 76 square mile area of the English Channel.

However, the public and numerous environmental groups raised concern over the effect of offshore wind farms on the wildlife. Not only that the habitat of numerous bird species could be endangered, consequences could be felt in the area of tourism as well.

According to a review of Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the UK is not as strict as other EU countries when it comes to EU regulations on protecting wildlife and Europe’s most precious natural areas.

“This review shows that protecting our precious wildlife sites is a key ingredient for a healthy and wealthy future, despite George Osborne’s misleading spin about environmental protection being bad for business“, Andy Atkins, executive director at Friends of the Earth pointed out.

“And with the Government preparing to unleash a new round of unsustainable developments on the countryside, such as new roads and airports, strong protection for our natural assets and wildlife is more important than ever”, Atkins added.

Commenting on the fact that the Government has recognized the dangers sustainable economic development might have on environment, director of one of the largest wildlife conservation organisations in Europe with over one million members, RSPB, Martin Harper stated:

“While we and many others raised fears over the direction the original draft of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was taking us, it is clear ministers have listened to our concerns and taken them on board.“

“We have always supported the idea of simplifying the planning system to make it less cumbersome and bureaucratic – but this must not happen at the expense of our environment. A healthy environment is essential for a healthy economy and the planning system is there to ensure the needs of people, business and nature are all met, “ Harper added.


Offshore WIND staff, March 29, 2012