The Reserve supports desperately needed renewable energy projects in the area but requires new projects to not negatively impact on the fragile surf ecosystem.
North Devon World Surfing Reserve has called for the organisers of a new Offshore Windfarm proposed 50km off the coast of North Devon to undertake ‘wave modelling’ and ‘coastal geomorphology’ research as part of their impact assessment.
The research would specifically assess any potential negative impact to the surf and waves from the windfarm itself as well as any negative impact on the surf and surf ecosystem from the proposed export cable routing.
The Reserve recognises the urgent need for, and encourages the transition to renewable energy and therefore supports considered renewable energy projects and is encouraged by and commends the ambition of the project to provide clean energy to North Devon.
For the Reserve to support the White Cross Offshore Windfarm project there are specific elements that need to be addressed which include a coastal geomorphological assessment and wave modelling for the project.
Local surfers are concerned by proposals for the export cable to come to shore at world renowned local surf break at Saunton Sands and have started using the consultation period set by White Cross, the company proposing the Offshore Windfarm, to raise concerns directly.
The North Devon World Surfing Reserve is in place to protect the surf ecosystem in North Devon from negative external impacts and encourage positive impacts. Adam Hall, co-founder of the North Devon World Surfing Reserve says “the quality and diversity of surf in North Devon relies on a fragile surf ecosystem that must be protected, from both the effects of climate change and development. Any new proposed venture must include research on the surf ecosystem as part of its core impact assessment.”
Hall continues: “We wholeheartedly support renewable energy projects and call on White Cross to undertake this research immediately which can then be independently assessed by our partners at the University of Plymouth. We can then make an informed judgement on the proposed plans.”
Members of the Reserve’s local stewardship council – Dr Christopher Stokes and Dr Timothy Scott from the University of Plymouth – have today offered to provide a specific scope of works to White Cross including a coastal geomorphological impact assessment and wave modelling for the project. They will then make an assessment of the modelling on behalf of the North Devon World Surfing Reserve. This will identify any negative impacts that would need to be removed before going ahead with the project.
The White Cross website says the proposed Offshore Windfarm is a “floating windfarm using innovative floating substructure technology that is anchored to the seabed. Each floating substructure will support a single wind turbine. The maximum capacity of the completed windfarm will be 100MW – that’s enough to power over 135,000 households. It is located approximately 50km off the Devon/Cornwall coast.”
To take part in the consultation visit https://whitecrossoffshorewind.com/exhibitions/whitecross-consultation-2022/