New Forest National Park Authority expresses concerns about Navitus Bay development

Keyhaven. Credit Barry Whitcher

Published Thursday 17 July 2014

Concerns about the likely ‘significant impact’ of the proposed Navitus Bay wind park on the New Forest coast and landscape were expressed by the National Park Authority.

The wind park means up to 194 wind turbines could be sited off the Hampshire and Dorset coast and to the west of the Isle of Wight, with an underground cable connection to the National Grid running through the New Forest National Park to an onshore substation at Mannington, north of Ferndown.  

The wind park would cover around 155 square kilometres (60 square miles) and would be located 19 kilometres (11.8 miles) from the National Park's coastline at its nearest point (Hurst Spit).

The National Park Authority’s Planning Committee said it was particularly concerned about the significant visual impact the wind turbines are likely to have on the National Park coastline at Keyhaven, both in terms of its natural beauty and people’s enjoyment of it.

Planning Committee Chairman Pat Wyeth said: ‘The onshore cable route could also have an adverse impact on the landscape of this part of the New Forest, as there is no commitment to replace trees which will be lost and there could be a permanent scar running through the National Park, creating a long-term change in the landscape along the 40 metre-wide cable route.’

Steve Avery, the National Park’s Executive Director of Strategy and Planning, said that, as this is a nationally-significant proposal, the Government’s National Infrastructure Directorate of the Planning Inspectorate (PINs) will make the decision about whether the scheme will go ahead.

He said: ‘As one of the planning authorities, the National Park has been asked to submit a Local Impact Report setting out what impacts we believe the scheme will have on the New Forest. Our detailed response will now be worked up reflecting our Members’ concerns about impacts and submitted to the Planning Inspectorate’s examination, which we believe will start in September. In the meantime, we shall continue to engage with Navitus Bay Development Limited about some of the issues we have raised.’

Following the examination, which can last up to six months, the National Infrastructure Directorate of the Planning Inspectorate (PINs) will issue a recommendation to the Secretary of State, who will then make the final decision.

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Notes to editor:

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more

Media Contacts:
Hilary Makin, Communications Manager, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646608
Email: hilary.makin@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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