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 infrastructure.planning