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Council stalls £1.5bn offshore wind farm

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THE FUTURE of the £1.5bn Thames London Array wind farm is uncertain this week after a local council rejected planning permission for a substation in Kent.

Developer Shell has six months to appeal against the Swale Borough Council decision, made on the grounds that construction work would disrupt the Kent village of Graveney.

The council also ruled that alternative sites should be considered but supporters of the scheme claim that the Graveney site is the most appropriate.

'When applying for planning permission, the best sites are considered and the most appropriate submitted. Hopefully this decision will be overturned, ' said British Wind Energy Association policy advisor Michael Hay.

Shell is proposing to build a wind farm of up to 271 turbines off the south Essex coastline.

The substation sited in Graveney includes a 12m tall, 40m by 20m main building, six 6m tall, 20m by 10m transformers and a 16m tall gantry, all sitting in a 2ha concrete platform.

'Graveney is a small village and there is concern about the impact of this on the local community and the landscape, ' said a council spokeswoman.

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