Last round of Navitus Bay wind park consultation is under way
THE final planned round of public consultation on Navitus Bay wind park was launched this week.
Plans for the large wind farm off the Dorset coast include a cable line from the shore to a substation on the outskirts of West Moors.
Dutch energy company Eneco has been awarded rights by the Crown Estate to set up the offshore electricity plant between Dorset and Hampshire Coast and the Isle of Wight.
The multi-billion pound Navitus Bay Wind Park would cover approximately 67 square miles and could generate enough electricity to power more than 700,000 homes. The 1100MW wind farm would offset approximately 1,150,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
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Cables would reach the shore near Barton on Sea. A trench stretching almost 20 miles would then carry them to a proposed substation at West Moors.
As part of the fourth phase of community consultation, which runs until Friday 11th October, members of the public will have a chance to talk to the Navitus Bay project team at a series of exhibitions.
Consultation documents will set out the potential impacts of the project and the measures which are being proposed to minimise these effects during the construction, operation and decommissioning phases.
People attending the exhibitions will be able to take home copies of these documents and also have a look at an interactive 3D computer model of the wind park to get a real feel for how it could look.
Anyone who is unable to attend can pick up consultation information from local libraries and download the information and complete an online comments form at www.navitusbaywindpark.co.uk.
Mike Unsworth, project director of Navitus Bay, said: "This is a very important day for Navitus Bay and marks a significant milestone for the project. From the start of the project, we have been committed to an ongoing, open and honest dialogue with local communities about our plans and the benefits it will bring to the area.
"We also act on the feedback we receive. Since 2010 we have been carrying out a comprehensive consultation with the community and statutory organisations and as a result of engaging and consulting we have made significant changes to our plans. For example, we scaled back the project and moved the northern boundary further away from the shore resulting in fewer turbines and we are developing a smaller area of the sea bed.
"Almost 2,000 people attended our last round of consultation events and we are hoping that many more will come to the September exhibitions to let us know what they think about our findings and assessments. All the responses we receive will be analysed independently and will help inform the preparation of the Environmental Statement which forms part of the official planning application."
Subject to planning, construction could start in 2017 with the first wind turbines generating energy by 2019. A park is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2021.
The consultation programme includes events at Christchurch Captain's Club Hotel on Thursday 12th September, Swanage St Edwards Church Hall on Tuesday 17th September and West Moors Memorial Hall on Thursday 19th September. All sessions run from 2pm to 8pm. Full details can be found at www.navitusbaywindpark .co.uk