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Navitus Bay wind farm: Fewer turbines option submitted

Published on the BBC News website on 6th November 2014

Navitus Bay said the alternative option would be further from shore

Navitus Bay said the alternative option would be further from shore

The company hoping to build a wind farm off the south coast has submitted alternative plans with fewer turbines.

A scheme for 194 turbines up to 200m (650ft) high off Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are currently being examined by the Planning Inspectorate.

Navitus Bay said it was still committed to the original proposal but submitted plans for a smaller scheme in response to a query from the examining panel.

It said the alternative option would be further away from the shore.

‘Second option’

Navitus Bay project director Mike Unsworth said: “The examining panel set up by the Planning Inspectorate asked the Navitus Bay project for further information… including if it was likely to submit a proposal with fewer turbines.

“In response, we have submitted plans for a smaller scheme with fewer wind turbines, with a capacity of 630MW. In this proposal, the nearest turbines to shore would be further away than in the original plan.

“This option does not replace the original proposal to which we remain fully committed, however it provides the examining panel and the Secretary of State with a second option which reduces certain impacts of the scheme.”

Plans were submitted for a 970MW scheme in April.

Bournemouth Borough Council, Purbeck District Council and Christchurch Borough Council oppose the plans, along with the National Trust.

Several Conservative MPs in Dorset have also spoken out against the wind farm, while Unesco has said it could affect the Jurassic Coast’s World Heritage status.

Labour’s Simon Bowkett, standing for South Dorset at next year’s general election, welcomed the plans, and Liberal Democrat MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole Annette Brook said she was in favour of wind farms “in principle”.

The Planning Inspectorate is expected to complete its examination of the proposals in March 2015 before a decision is made by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change next September.

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