South coast offshore wind farm consultation ends

Peveril Point in Dorset
Image caption The wind farm will be 8.2 miles (13.2km) off Peveril Point at Swanage

A consultation over plans to build a 76 sq-mile (200-sq-km) wind farm off the Isle of Wight and Dorset ends later.

The Navitus Bay development will have up to 240 wind turbines, 8.2 miles (13.2km) off Swanage and 8.4 miles (13.5km) south-west of The Needles.

Eneco, which has the licence to build it, will hold two further consultations between now and autumn 2013.

The final plan is due to be submitted to the Government's Infrastructure Planning Commission at the end of 2013.

Tuesday is the last day for residents to submit their comments and objections as part of the first stage consultation.

'Fairly unspoilt'

Campaign group Challenge Navitus has said it is worried about the impact the turbines will have on the environment, shipping and the economy.

Andrew Langley, from Challenge Navitus, said: "At the moment we have a fairly unspoilt landscape with very little urban development, a very natural landscape.

"This would just put a large industrial installation right in the middle of it."

If approved, the wind farm would be built between 2016 and 2019.

Eneco said the wind farm would have a potential yield of about 900MW to power between 600,000 and 800,000 homes a year.

Navitus Bay is one of nine UK sites earmarked for large offshore wind farms.

The holders of all nine licences have signed exclusive agreements with the Crown Estate, which owns the UK seabed.

The Isle of Wight licence covers 280 sq miles (725 sq km) but the firm is only developing part of the area.

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