Fresh consultation over £3 billion offshore wind farm bid

Daily Echo: Fresh consultation over £3 billion offshore wind farm bid Fresh consultation over £3 billion offshore wind farm bid

BOSSES behind plans for a £3 billion wind park off the Hampshire coast are staging another round of public consultation as they put the finishing touches to the planning application.

The team involved in the controversial Navitus Bay project, which comprises 218 turbines up to 650ft high, are giving residents a chance to raise any outstanding issues before the proposal is submitted to the Government.

Objections to the original scheme resulted in major changes to the design.

Navitus Bay Development Ltd reduced the size of the wind park and moved it further away from the coastline following the uproar that greeted the initial proposals.

But the huge turbines will still be only 14.5 miles from Lymington and less than 12 miles from Milford on Sea.

The latest round of public consultation will comprise eight drop-in sessions, with the first taking place in Lymington on January 21.

Project leaders say the sessions will give people a chance to ask any unanswered questions about the scheme.

If consent is granted the wind park will occupy a 67 square mile site between Purbeck and the Isle of Wight.

Navitus Bay Development hopes to begin construction in 2017, with the first turbines starting to generate energy by 2019. The wind park is due to become fully operational by 2020-2021.

Visible The Challenge Navitus campaign is fighting the proposed development, claiming it will occupy an area bigger than Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole put together and will be visible from the shore.

But Navitus Bay bosses say it will generate enough low carbon electricity to power 790,000 homes a year.

Project director Mike Unsworth said: “Navitus Bay is committed to ensuring residents have as much information as possible about the proposed wind park, which will deliver significant economic benefits to the local community.

“Since 2010 we have been carrying out comprehensive consultation with the community, and we would like this spirit of consultation to continue in 2014.

“For this reason, we are holding another series of drop-in surgeries to give the public a chance to meet the project team and learn more about the next stage of the project.”

The planned series of drop-in sessions:

January 21: Lymington Community Centre, New Street, Lymington (10am-1pm)
January 21: The Riverside Centre, The Quay, Newport (3pm-6pm)
January 22: The Lighthouse, Kingland Road, Poole (10am-1pm)
January 22: St Edward’s Church Hall, Rempstone Road, Swanage (3pm-6pm)
January 23: West Moors Library, Station Road, West Moors (10am-1pm)
January 23: Menzies Carlton Hotel, Grove Road, Bournemouth (3pm-6pm)
January 24: New Milton Community Centre, Osborne Road, New Milton (10am-1pm)
January 24: Captain’s Club Hotel, Wick Lane, Christchurch (3pm-6pm)


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