More turbines, less view

Isle of Grain refinery

FARM LAND: The Isle of Grain refinery site, above, where BP wants to build a wind farm similar to the one off the Southend shore, top

PLANS for a second wind farm off the Southend coast have sparked fears the famous Thames view could be ruined.

BP aims to create 14 giant wind turbines at its vacant refinery on the Isle of Grain.

If planners back the move, the 160-metre windmills will compliment those already seen at the mouth of the estuary to the east.

A spokesman for BP said the turbines are likely to power 12,500 homes.

Prof Bernard de Neumann, chairman of the Leigh Cliff Association, called on anyone interested to attend a public exhibition at Grain Village Hall, in Chapel Road, on Friday September 20, from 11.00am to 9.00pm.

“This wind farm will affect views over the estuary markedly if it proceeds,” he said.

BP said talks were ongoing with bird and other wildlife groups about the impact of the turbines on the environment.

If approved it will be the first BP backed farm in the UK, although the firm already has two in the Netherlands.

The island refinery closed in the early 1980s and has been used as a fuel storage site ever since.

The BP spokesman said the firm was keen to move into developing its “renewables ” business further. Wind and solar energies are seen as more profitable as fossil fuels continue to become more expensive to recover.

The spokesman added: “If we can produce more renewable power we hope its something we can offer our customers.”

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