News story

Noise and windfarm construction off the Sussex coast

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has been looking into concerns about noise off the Sussex coast and the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm.

West Sussex aerial view

Officers from the MMO have visited the area where noise has been reported. We are also working closely with the developer to understand and address any relevant concerns.

The windfarm developer, E.On, has made a number of changes to their processes to reduce noise impact. These include:

  • installing noise-reducing acoustic panels around pump equipment onshore (which for safety reasons has to run continuously)
  • reducing speed of vessels and using anchors so that engines can be turned off
  • scheduling maintenance activities where noisy tools are required to be in day time only
  • instructing vessels leaving Shoreham Port at night to follow a different route in order to minimise impact on residences at Shoreham Beach

The developer has also committed to avoiding piling activity overnight when weather conditions mean excessive noise may carry to shore, for example during warm, still nights.

Any further issues can be reported to the MMO by emailing info@marinemanagement.org.uk or calling 0300 123 1032. Please note the date, time and location of any occurrences so that these can be looked into.

Background to the Rampion development

E.On was given a Development Consent Order by the Government to construct Rampion Offshore Windfarm in July 2014.

This followed careful consideration of the application and a supporting environmental statement. The statement assessed the potential noise impacts including airborne noise and concluded there would be no significant impact as a result of piling activities to construct the wind farm.

Developments are only licensed when the Government is satisfied they meet legal requirements and any effects on the environment and quality of life are minimised.

The work includes constructing 175 wind turbine generators, with the closest turbine being about 13km from the shore.

Further details of the environmental impact assessment performed by the developers is available on the Planning Inspectorate website.

Details of the MMO’s marine licensing remit with regards to the development are available elsewhere on this website.

Published 20 September 2016
Last updated 20 September 2016 + show all updates
  1. First published.