Navitus Bay decision nears as windfarm plans enter final phase

A final Navitus Bay decision is expected in the next six months after the Planning Inspectorate drew the examination phase to a close

Final plans for the UK’s largest offshore windfarm have been submitted, as the deadline for a Navitus Bay decision nears.

After six months of representations and examinations, the Planning Inspectorate will now spend three months internally debating the 2,000 documents that make up the final Navitus Bay plans from EDF Energy and Eneco.

This consideration stage will result in a recommendation to the Secretary of State who is due to make the final Navitus Bay decision by early September.

The new offshore windfarm would include 194 turbines and generate enough energy to power 170,000 homes.

Widespread opposition to the plans has been expressed by the boating industry, but the RYA said yesterday: “Many of the points of concern for recreational boating have been resolved to our satisfaction.

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“Over the past twelve years the RYA has worked closely with the maritime community in an effort to limit the impact of offshore renewable developments on the navigational rights and safety of recreational boating,” the statement continued.

However campaign group Challenge Navitus remains staunchly opposed to the plans, which were modified in November and again in February to include a scaled-down alternative (pictured above).

“The seabed is vulnerable to permanent damage from construction because of exposed bedrock and reefs. Dumping a million tons of rock does not enhance a natural eco-system,” said Dr Andrew Langley.

He added that the oft-quoted figure of 1,700 jobs created was “optimistic” and claimed that the actual total would be “around 140”.


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