'Since submitting the DCO application for the Rampion Project on 14th December 2012, we have identified some areas that we need to add to the application. We want the application to be complete before the Planning Inspectorate decides whether to accept it and the only way to do this is to withdraw it and resubmit again as soon as we are ready.
It has emerged that there are certain omissions from the Section 42 (Statutory) Consultee list for the application and in line with the full and inclusive approach to consultation we've always wanted to take, we are committed to fully address these points ahead of the Secretary of State's decision on whether or not to accept the application for examination.
This decision will allow us to consult some of those more distant neighbouring local authorities (e.g. Surrey), which have unfortunately been omitted from the process. We understand that the only means of facilitating this is for us to temporarily withdraw the application, then to resubmit once these issues have been addressed.
We remain completely committed to the Project, but we wish to take this extra time now to carry out this exercise to maintain our comprehensive approach to consultation. We recognise it will lead to a temporary delay which we intend to keep to a minimum. We are aiming to resubmit our application next month, pending the outcome of the consultation with the parties involved.
This website will be updated with the final Rampion proposals once the application has been resubmitted and accepted. An examination period will follow which will be well publicised and we will let you know how you can have your say on the final proposals. We currently estimate to publicise this in March 2013 so do keep checking the website for updates.'
An application for the consents to build a project such as the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm must be accompanied by information on the likely significant effects that the project may have on the environment. In addition, a description of the measures to minimise any negative effects must also be given.
We're currently undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, as required under the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2009 and in line with the relevant National Policy Statements. Following the pre-application consultation under Sections 42 and 47 of the Planning Act 2008, we'll produce an Environmental Statement (ES), which we'll submit alongside the application for a Development Consent Order for the project.
An additional eight week public consultation on the scheme begins from Wednesday 13 June, which will centre around the same proposals for the wind farm, but contain more detailed environmental information about the project. A statutory consultation period will also run simultaneously with the public consultation, involving statutory bodies, local authorities, county councils and landowners. Click here to view and download the draft sections of the Environmental Statement. Any response to the public consultation should be sent to in writing only, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to FREEPOST RAMPION OFFSHORE WIND FARM, by no later than Wednesday 8 August.
The EIA process ensures that the potential significant environmental effects of the project are identified, assessed and managed. We've looked at each of the project's lifecycle phases in turn, to identify the impacts which could arise from the wind farm's initial construction phase, the operational phase, and the eventual decommissioning of the wind farm at the end of its operational lifetime (typically 20 to 25 years). This constitutes Preliminary Environmental Information and our community consultation, which has now ended, invited comments on this.
We understand that you may have questions about the project and renewable energy in general. Click here to look at answers to the most frequently asked questions. These will be updated regularly.
To enable us to understand the existing environmental conditions at the offshore wind farm site, along the underground cable route and at the proposed substation location, we've been gathering data from existing sources such as local authorities, local conservation groups and other relevant interest groups.
Since March 2010, we've also been carrying out site-specific surveys to enhance and supplement existing information. We agreed the scope of our onshore and offshore surveys with key statutory bodies including Natural England, the Centre for Fish and Aquacultural Sciences (Cefas), the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and English Heritage.
The offshore and onshore surveys have helped us establish the baseline conditions for the offshore site and onshore elements of our proposal.