Navitus Bay wind farm proposals scaled back

Plans for a £3bn wind farm off the south coast have been scaled back following a public consultation.

Navitus Bay Development Ltd has announced a "significant reduction" to its proposed wind park in Poole Bay, between Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

The changes include moving the development further out to sea and making it smaller in scale.

The company said this would reduce the potential visual impact from areas including The Needles and Bournemouth.

'Good balance'

The project boundary, which was originally set to be about 8 miles (12.8km) off Peveril Point at Swanage and The Needles, will now be 1.8 miles (3km) further away from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Other changes include a reduction in the maximum number of turbines, from 333 to 218, and to the total area of seabed which will be developed, from 76.4 sq miles (198 sq km) to 67.5 sq miles (175 sq km).

Project director Mike Unsworth said: "We feel that these significant adjustments to the plans strike a good balance between responses that we have had from consultees and the technical viability from an environmental, engineering, shipping and commercial perspective."

Exhibitions will be held in February next year across Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, when a 3D model of the wind farm will be on show to enable people to see how it will look from their homes or chosen location.

A planning application for Navitus Bay is likely to be submitted in 2014, Mr Unsworth added.

If approved, construction work could be completed by 2021.

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