Latest news: Proposed extension to Rampion Offshore Wind Farm - start of formal consultation
In 2019, the Crown Estate confirmed that an application by Rampion Extension Development Limited (REDL) for an extension to the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm could go ahead on their land. The proposal, Rampion 2, is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) requiring a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Secretary of State (rather than planning permission from the local planning authority). The County Council is a statutory consultee in the DCO process.
Rampion 2 will have a generating capacity of up to 1,200MW, compared with 400MW for Rampion 1.
The offshore element of Rampion 2 will be located within an area of search to the west and south east of the existing wind farm, together with a small link or ‘bridge’ area between the two areas for cabling.
The onshore elements of the scheme include a buried transmission cable running for approximately 36km between a landfall at Climping Beach, near Littlehampton, and a ‘satellite’ project substation located within a 5km radius of the Bolney National Grid Substation.
REDL are consulting on the draft proposal from 14 July to 16 September 2021. Their website, Consultation - Rampion 2, includes all the consultation material and provides the opportunity to explore the proposal, including through maps and videos, to sign up to attend an online public forum with the project team, and to complete a consultation response form to give feedback to the team.
The County Council’s response to the consultation will be approved in September 2021.
E.ON received consent from the Secretary of State in July 2014 to develop the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm. This included:
- the installation of 116 wind turbines off the Sussex coast
- the construction of 27km of onshore underground cabling
- a new electricity substation at Bolney, Mid Sussex.
The final turbine was installed in September 2017, with electricity first delivered to the grid in November 2017. The project is now in the final stages of commissioning and land affected by the cable route is being reinstated.
Visit the Rampion Offshore Wind website for information about:
- onshore and offshore layouts
- progress with construction
- closures and diversions of public rights of way
- contact details for enquiries and complaints.
How is the development controlled?
The development is subject to a Development Consent Order (DCO), which effectively forms the decision notice for the proposal. This describes the approved development and lists the approved plans. It also prescribed the submission of ‘requirement schemes’ to deal with both construction and operational controls.
Required schemes relating to onshore elements of the development within West Sussex have been discharged by us. Most notably, controls over construction activities, the design and implementation of the substation at Bolney and the restoration works for the cable route. However, this excludes some requirements for land within the South Downs National Park.
Can I see the requirement schemes?
All schemes and submissions approved by us in respect of the requirements and subsequent decisions are available on our ePlanning Portal by searching for 'Rampion' in Keyword(s).
Who is responsible for enforcement of the DCO?
Although district and borough councils do not determine whether information about requirements is acceptable, they are responsible for the enforcement of the DCO. This includes non-compliance or breach of requirements.
However, as the discharging authority, the County Council will carry out some monitoring and continue to maintain a close working relationship with the district and borough councils. This will ensure the development is implemented in the best possible way.
Hedgerow enhancement fund
A mitigation fund managed by West Sussex County Council is available for hedgerow enhancement within 5km either side of the onshore cable route outside the South Downs National Park boundary.
The fund is provided to benefit habitat connectivity across the hedgerow network and to offset the impacts caused by the temporary removal of hedgerows during the cable installation works.
Hedgerow enhancement works eligible for funding include:
- new hedgerow planting
- ‘gapping up’ or infilling existing hedgerows
- hedgerow restoration work such as laying, coppicing and planting
- new hedgerow trees.
Native species appropriate for the location should be used. Priority will be given to proposals that improve the existing hedgerow network and connect other habitats such as woodland and ponds.
The information needed to apply should include:
- the location, marked on a plan
- a short description of the proposed work, such as length of hedge to be planted and number of trees
- the proposed species - numbers, planting rate/density
- the cost.
Subject to eligibility, funding would normally cover the full cost of the proposed work. All work will be inspected on completion and reimbursement of costs made on delivery of receipted invoices.