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New Forest District Council chiefs blast Navitus Bay wind farm plans

Civic chiefs have hit out at proposals to build a giant £3 billion wind farm off the Hampshire coast.

They criticised the visual impact of the Navitus Bay project which, if approved, will result in 218 wind turbines up to 650ft high.

New Forest District Council is one of the organisations that is being consulted about the plan.

As reported in the Daily Echo, Navitus Bay Development Ltd has reduced the size of the wind park and moved it further away from the coast following the uproar that greeted the original proposals.

But the huge turbines will still be only 14.5 miles from Lymington and less than 12 miles from Milford on Sea Councillors were presented with a report detailing the authority’s initial response to the latest proposals.

The report said: “The offshore turbines would have visual impacts from some parts of the coastline and would alter the open context in which The Needles are currently viewed.

“The landscape and visual impacts are considered to be adverse and should be treated as significant.”

Noise Turning to the subject of onshore noise and vibration, the report added: “Further work needs to be undertaken on acoustic fencing mitigation measures to ensure sound is not reflected onto dwellings.”

The report looked set to be approved without debate – but councillors were determined to make their voices heard.

Cllr Maureen Holding said: “This scheme is very important to the whole area and we’re just going to skip over it without making a comment.

“It almost looks as if we’re negating our responsibilities.”

Cllr Sue Bennison added: “They’ve reduced the height and number of turbines and moved them further away. It would be nice if they got even smaller and further away.”

Cllr Diane Andrews said she would like to see the scheme “blasted out of the water”.

Navitus Bay Development Ltd is due to submit a planning application to the Government next year.

The report said: “The council is not being asked for its views on whether the wind park should receive consent or not.

“The council will have an opportunity to submit representations to the panel of inspectors once the application has been formally submitted.”