Navitus Bay Wind Farm - our views

Published : 29 Jan 2016

The National Trust has a duty to protect beautiful places and we are committed to renewable energy that works in the location it is built. We believe strongly in the need to grow renewable energy generation and wean ourselves off fossil fuels, but it has to be in the right place at the right scale. We cannot support proposals that seriously damage the beauty of our coastline.

The National Trust has a duty to protect beautiful places and we are committed to renewable energy that works in the location it is built. We believe strongly in the need to grow renewable energy generation and wean ourselves off fossil fuels, but it has to be in the right place at the right scale. We cannot support proposals that seriously damage the beauty of our coastline.
 
Navitus Bay Wind Park was a part of Round 3 of offshore wind farm developments and the original planning application was for a 970MW wind farm with 194 turbines off the coast of Dorset and the Isle of Wight. After the developers chose more powerful turbines, the maximum number would fall from 194 to 121 for the 970MW project. For the smaller, mitigation option, for 630MW the number would reduce from 105 to 78. Navitus Bay Development Ltd is a 50-50 joint venture between Eneco Wind UK Ltd and EDF Energy.
 
We considered the planning application and the later ‘mitigation option’ which reduced the number of turbines and scale of the wind park, as well as its distance from the nearest shore.
 
We objected to both because of their impact on the sensitive coastlines of East Dorset and the Isle of Wight and we are pleased that the Secretary of State has refused outline planning consent for the Navitus Bay Wind Park.
 
We commissioned our own study into the impact of Navitus Bay Wind Park on land we care for in Dorset and the Isle of Wight which concluded that, even with the mitigation option, it would negatively impact on these important landscapes and seascapes.
The Trust also has a number of concerns about the way the process of site selection ran originally and the subsequent planning process.
 
We have raised our concern that the original zone chosen for a possible development should have been considered more carefully because of its close proximity to important coastlines, including the World Heritage Site of the Jurassic Coast. We have called for the initial zones to be reviewed as soon as possible and for greater clarity over the importance of the apparent 12nm limit for wind farms to be located from the shore.
 
We are also concerned that the developer had no obligations to specify the number and size of turbines at any stage and that the revised application for the smaller scheme has come forward so late in the day and yet was deemed admissible to run in parallel with the original proposal.

Useful information

Final representation, including mitigation option (PDF / 0.109375MB) download  submitted March 2015

Relevant representation (PDF / 0.083984375MB) download submitted June 2014

Written representation (PDF / 0.1337890625MB) download submitted by the National Trust October 2014

Summary of written representation (PDF / 0.0908203125MB) download submitted by the National Trust