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Consultation on wind farm pushed back

The next stage of consultation on controversial plans for an off-shore wind farm off the coast of the Isle of Wight has been pushed back to next year.

The third of four rounds of consultation on Navitus Bay was due to start next month, but has been pushed back by developers to allow more time to react to responses from earlier consultation.

Navitus Bay Development Ltd hopes to install hundreds of wind turbines, 8.5 miles south west of the Needles, capable of producing enough electricity to supply up to 820,000 homes.

But fears about the impact on views, sailing, fishing and habitat, have led to opposition.

A Navitus spokesman said: “The decision to reschedule the third round of public consultation reflects the high level of attendance from the local community at Navitus Bay’s second round of consultation earlier this year, many of whom responded with ideas and suggestions that were of great interest to the development team.

“To ensure that the community’s feedback is given the due consideration it deserves, Navitus Bay has decided to allocate the additional time and resources to fully explore the comments we have received and how they can be accommodated into the final proposals, taking into account the complex technical and environmental constraints of the project.”

Project manager Mike Unsworth said there were plans to create new photo montages of how the park would look, as well as a 3D fly-through visualisation of the site and cable route.

The company also plans to survey 400 businesses across the south coast and carrying out further studies of marine life in the coming months.