PLANS are progressing for a giant off-shore wind farm off the Hampshire coast.

Navitus Bay Development Ltd – a joint venture between Eneco and EDF – has handed in a planning application for a £3 billion wind park in the Solent.

Now the Planning Inspectorate has accepted its 18,000-page formal application for development and is moving to the next major stage in considering the bid.

It means that the inspectorate moves to the pre-examination stage, inviting the public to register as an interested party to comment on the application and be kept informed of its process.

This stage is based on a number of legal criteria, including the adequacy of consultation undertaken by Navitus Bay.

If accepted, the site – 12 miles from Bournemouth – could include up to 194 turbines as high as 200m, generating power for up to 710,000 homes a year.

As previously reported the site has been scaled back to reduce its visual impact.

Initial plans were for 218 turbines generating power for 790,000 homes – nine times the amount of properties in Bournemouth and 13 times more than the Isle of Wight.

Details of how to register will be posted on the inspectorate’s website at