Strong public response to a proposed offshore wind farm, planned for waters off England’s south coast and near the Isle of Wight, has prompted the project developer to delay a further round of consultation until early next year.
Originally planned for November, a third round of public consultation about the 900MW-1.2GW Navitus Bay Wind Park will now begin in February 2013.
Nevertheless, the project schedule remains on track, with the developer continuing to plan for submission of a consent application and environmental statement (ES) by the end of next year, a spokesperson for Navitus Bay Ltd told Windpower Offshore. Navitus Bay is a 50/50 joint venture between EDF and Eneco.
The three-month delay will allow Navitus Bay to assess some detailed suggestions received during the most recent period of public consultation. A high level of attendance at public events resulted in many “ideas...that were of great interest to the development team,” says the developer. The project director, Mike Unsworth, added: “It has always been our intention that community consultation has a real bearing on our proposals."
Navitus Bay Ltd will also use the extra time to produce a 3D computer model of the project, 35 new ‘viewpoints’ detailing the wind farm’s visibility from shore and undertake additional surveying of marine mammals off Durlston Head.
Concerns have been raised by sailing organisations, including the Royal Yachting Association. Navitus Bay insists that turbines will be spaced far enough apart to accommodate the area's many sailors.