United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Navitus Bay hearings begin

UK: The public hearings have begun for EDF-Eneco's controversial Navitus Bay project, off England's southern coast.

Peveril point, on the Jurassic Coast, forms part of Swanage Bay
Peveril point, on the Jurassic Coast, forms part of Swanage Bay

Speakers at the four-day event are likely to include Dorset County Council, the Jurassic Coast Trust, Natural England and protest group Challenge Navitus.

The project has attracted widespread criticism from local politicians and claims that the Unesco status of Dorset's Jurassic coast could be affected by the project. Unesco has denied this is the case.

Earlier this month, the projects developers reduced the project from 970MW to 630MW as part of an alternative planning submission.

The project's capacity has been repeatedly cut. When first proposed, Navitus Bay was set for 333 turbines. This was cut to 218 in 2012 and reduced again in February 2014 to 194 turbines.

Several district councils have objected, arguing the development would adversely affect tourism to the area. A record 2,680 "representations" have been received by the Planning Inspectorate from interested parties about the development — more than any other offshore wind development handled by the authority.

Construction is expected to begin in 2017.

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