The latest Navitus Bay windfarm proposal covers 155 sq km instead of 175 sq km

Navitus Bay Development Ltd has today announced that it will scale

back the proposed wind park in order to reduce its visual impact.

It is the second time that the developer behind the windfarm, which if granted planning permission would be situated in popular sailing waters off Dorset and the Isle of Wight, has reduced the size of the scheme.

But campaigners against Navitus Bay say the ‘changes to the plan appear to be marginal’.

The scaled back scheme follows feedback received from the public and statutory

consultees during the final round of consultation last year.

The

developer says it will remove the northernmost part of the development – the

‘top triangle’ – which will move the site up to 3.8km further away from

the shore and reduce the number of 200m-tall wind turbines from 218 to 194.

The previous scaling back of

the site was announced in December 2012.

Navitus Bay says the new boundary means that:


  • The development will now cover an area of 155 km², compared to 175 km² under the previous boundary

  • The maximum number of turbines that will be built, assuming the  use of the 5MW model, will fall from 218 to 194

  • If the wind park is granted development consent, with the new boundary

    it will have a maximum installed capacity of 970MW, generating enough

    low carbon energy to power approximately 710,000 homes

Addressing concerns

Mike Unsworth, project director at Navitus Bay, said: ‘We hope that local residents and statutory consultees who have

expressed concern about the wind park will welcome today’s announcement.

‘The boundary change is significant, and balances the need to reduce

visual impact while ensuring that the project continues to make an

important contribution to sustainable energy generation in the UK and to

the local economy in the shape of jobs and investment.

‘As we move towards submitting our final application for planning

permission, we believe that this latest boundary change is a positive

step, ensuring that the project reflects local views whilst bringing

considerable benefits to the region.

‘We believe we now have an application that reflects in-depth local

consultation and will, if granted planning permission, bring enormous

benefits to the local region and to the UK as a whole.’

Changes ‘marginal’ say Challenge Navitus

Dr Andrew Langley of Challenge Navitus said: ‘We are still awaiting full

details, but the changes to the plan appear to be marginal and go

nowhere near far enough to convince people that this disastrous proposal

won’t have the damaging impacts that so many fear.

‘The

threats to the environment, tourism, birds and navigation remain almost

unchanged, and the onshore disruption will be the same. If a wind farm

this size and so close to the coastline had been proposed at the outset we would still have been strongly opposed to the scheme.

‘The turbines would be just as close to

Swanage and the Jurassic coast World Heritage Site as before and the

impacts on them are still significant.

‘The proposal would need

a far more radical rethink to address the issues raised in

consultation, and it remains a bad plan in completely the wrong area.’

For tables showing new distances to site boundary and new horizontal spread of the wind park please follow this link.

Pictures: The latest proposed Navitus Bay area; a photomontage of the view from Ballard Down, Swanage; Mike Unsworth; two previous Navitus Bay boundary maps. Credit: Navitus Bay Development Ltd.