The UK Government has issued development consent for Ørsted to construct the Hornsea Project Three offshore wind farm.

Development consent was granted following a six-month examination. Ørsted UK Region head Duncan Clark said: “We are delighted to confirm that Hornsea Three offshore wind farm has been granted consent by the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy.

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“This determination is the culmination of a thorough and rigorous process which ensures that the project can deliver much needed clean energy at scale for the UK, whilst ensuring the potential environmental impacts of the project are minimised.

“We’ve worked closely with key stakeholders to develop a robust compensation plan focused on the implementation of onshore artificial nesting structures specifically designed for kittiwakes.”

Kittiwakes are a rare and endangered sea bird that feed in the area of the Hornsea development. British bird charity RSPB criticised the placement of the development, saying it could cause the death of dozens of birds each year.

The Planning Inspectorate chief executive Sarah Richards said: “When examining the application and making their recommendation, the Examining Authority took full account of views from communities, particularly those near the North East coast of England who might be affected by this proposal, alongside national policy and evidence of the need for the project.”

Clark continued: “The unique compensation plan for Hornsea Three demonstrates that the industry can continue to deliver on the government’s offshore wind ambition of 40GW by 2030 in a sensitive and environmentally responsible way. We would like to thank Shoney Wind for providing specialist knowledge on kittiwake artificial nesting towers.”

With an approximate capacity of up to 2.4GW, the Hornsea Project Three offshore wind farm will be located off the north coast of Norfolk in east England. The area is part of Zone 4, covered by the Round 3 offshore wind licensing arrangements established by The Crown Estate.

Ørsted submitted the application for consideration on 14 May 2018. Plans were then accepted for examination on 8 June 2018.

Hornsea Project Three offshore wind farm is said to be the 61st energy project examined by the Planning Inspectorate to be accorded development approval. It is also the 98th project to be selected under the Planning Act 2008 regime.