Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Navitus Bay wind farm plan video released

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Media captionProtesters are unhappy with the plans

The firm behind a £3bn offshore wind farm has released interactive 3D models showing how it could look.

Navitus Bay wants to build up to 218 turbines which would be visible from the coasts of Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

The videos were released at a press conference in Bournemouth earlier, ahead of the third stage of consultation which starts on Friday.

Opponents called on local people to participate in the consultation.

Mike Unsworth, project director for Navitus Bay, said: "It's a very important part of the UK delivering a new, lower-carbon energy infrastructure.

"By using renewable energy it removes the volatility of gas prices, so it's a major project."

Boundary moved

But Dr Andrew Langley, of opposition group Challenge Navitus, said he was concerned about the size and proximity of the wind farm to two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Dorset coast, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Image caption Campaigners are worried about the impact of the wind turbines on birds and marine mammals

"It's extremely important that the public gets involved," he said.

"They should go and have a look at the visualisations on our website and, above all, write to the developer, their elected councillors and their MP."

In December the boundary, which was originally set to be about eight miles (12.8km) off Peveril Point at Swanage and The Needles, was moved 1.8 miles (3km) further away from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

The total number of turbines was also reduced from 333 to 218.

Eneco Wind UK Ltd and EDF Energy, which will install the turbines, claim the scheme could start generating energy by 2020 and could produce enough for the domestic needs of 790,000 average UK households.

The public consultation will end at the start of April.

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