The proposed wind farm remains “a major threat” to the Dorset coast, despite plans to move it further out to sea and have fewer turbines.
Opposition group Challenge Navitus claims public concerns remain “unanswered” and has branded the changes “a missed opportunity”.
Navitus Bay Development Ltd insists the planned changes would reduce the farm’s visual impact with the park being sited 12 miles away from Bournemouth, rather than 10, and the maximum number of turbines 218, instead of 333.
Maximum height will be 200m, instead of 210m, while the total area of the seabed affected will be reduced from 198sqkm to 175sqkm with the park’s generating capacity reduced from 1,200 megawatts to 1,100.
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.”
But David Lloyd from Challenge Navitus said the changes “would only have a small effect on the impact of this huge development” and were “a missed opportunity.”
He added: “Even in its revised form, if it were built today, the wind farm would still be the biggest in the world and remain totally out of proportion in an area that is home to England’s only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site and two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”
Mr Lloyd said, at its closest point, the wind farm would still be only 8.9 miles from the coast – “well over double the apparent width of the Isle of Wight and nearly three times its apparent height. While the reductions in visibility from Bournemouth and Christchurch are welcome, a far more radical overhaul is needed.”
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