New plans for windfarm cabling to be unveiled

Updated plans for controversial cabling work to connect a windfarm off the north Devon coast are to be shared by developers.

White Cross Offshore Windfarm Ltd want to build the 100MW site 50km (31 miles) out to sea, with cabling work taking place at Saunton Sands.

The company's initial plans resulted in 500 objections and concerns.

Members of the public are invited to attend open days in Braunton and Instow on 21 and 22 May, when the company will share its plans.

The windfarm cables would run underground from the beach at Saunton Sands then under the golf course before turning south, going under the Taw Estuary and connecting to the grid at East Yelland.

Opponents say the work would damage important wildlife habitats for rare bats and birds in the North Devon Coast National Landscape and several sites of special scientific interest (SSSI).

They also claim the plans would damage the tourism industry in the area.

In a statement, White Cross said: “Taking care of the environment around Saunton Sands, Braunton and East Yelland is a top priority for us.

“We also understand how important the tourist industry is in Devon, and we will be scheduling as much work as we can outside of the busy summer months.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said at a public meeting last October the community heard that 40 per cent of the Saunton Sands beach car park would become a ‘work hub’ for up to two years, and as many as 90 lorries per day were expected through the village’s streets.

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