Navitus Bay Development Ltd has today announced that it will scale back the proposed wind park in order to reduce its visual impact.
In response to feedback received from the public and statutory consultees during the final round of consultation last year, the developer 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.
This latest change, when combined with the previous scaling back of the site in December 2012, will significantly reduce the visual impact of the development from all viewpoints along the coast in Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, whilst 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.
In locations such as the Isle of Wight, Lymington and Christchurch, the change will substantially increase the distance of the nearest turbine from the shore. In places such as Swanage and Durlston Head, the horizontal spread of turbines on the horizon will be considerably reduced, and the change to the shape of the wind park will also open up a clear gap between the southern coast of the Isle of Wight and the development.
The new boundary will also mean 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
To reflect the changes to the site boundary, Navitus Bay has produced a series of photomontages from several viewpoints along the coast that are available to view on its website.
Mike Unsworth, Project Director at Navitus Bay, said: “We have always listened to and acted upon the feedback we receive from our public consultations and our statutory consultees.
“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.”