Navitus Bay Wind Park
I am very strongly AGAINST this project in this area for the following reasons (NOT in any particular order):
# Whatever Navitus Bay Development Ltd (NBDL) claim to the contrary, the strong visual impact of this wind farm would undoubtedly totally ruin for ever the outlook from one of our most beautiful stretches of coastline, from the the Isle of Wight, the Solent, Christchurch Bay and then westwards to the Jurassic Coast (England?s only natural World Heritage site).
# One highly probable result of ruining the coastline would be a dramatic decline in tourism, to the huge detriment of the local economy.
# Wind turbines are probably the most unreliable form of energy generation that one could conceive. For a lot of the time the wind strength will be outside their wind force operating window (Beaufort Force 3 to Force 7?) and alternative reliable sources of power generation therefore have to be on standby at all times. Why therefore build the wind farms in the first place?
# As yet, no on-site meterological data has been obtained (!) and so a realistic initial load factor for the wind farm is a matter of conjecture.
# Informed sources (see the Daily Telegraph, 30 Dec 2012) predict that due to wear and tear the achievable load factor will approximately halve over 15 years.
# A study of nearly 3,000 existing onshore wind turbines has led to the conclusion that their effective life will be only 12 to 15 years - not the 20 to 25 years being used in their calculations by the wind energy industry and by the Government. It is likely that the highly corrosive marine environment of Navitus Bay will lead to even more rapid performance and life degradation.
# At the end of their short effective life, these wind turbines will have to be either dismantled or refurbished and upgraded. I do not believe that these costs been included in the case being made by NBDL.
# Nobody knows what the effect of plus-or-minus 200 wind turbines will be on the tidal flows entering the Solent. The substantial underwater support structures for this multitude of turbines are bound to create significant water flow turbulence. It could well be that, depending on the state of the wind and tide, turbulent water from Navitus Bay could have a further eroding effect upon Hurst spit and upon the foundations of Hurst Castle.
# NBDL would have us believe that we would not be able to hear the wind turbines from the nearby shore. I find it difficult to believe that, with the prevailing wind bringing the noise onshore, the aerodynamic noise from over 200 wind turbines only 9 to 12 miles offshore would not be heard on the coast.
# The construction of Navitus Nay Wind Park will pose formidable engineering problems and by definition will consume huge amounts of non-green energy. The net green energy contribution of Navitus Bay would be the total power generated by the wind farm over its life minus the non-green energy used in its construction, maintenance and demolition at the end of its life. I am not aware that this consideration has been addressed by NBDL.
# It is difficult to see how the huge monetary investment in Navitus Bay can be justified, in view of its likely short effective life. Would any sane individual spend 4 years building a very expensive house, in the knowledge that it would have to be demolished 12 to 15 years after moving in?
# Navitus Bay Wind Park would be in an area of intense commercial shipping and recreational boating activity. It would undoubtedly be a navigational hazard and its influence would extend far beyond the boundaries of the wind farm. As an example, the influence of Portland Bill on the sea state can extend to 8 or 10 miles offshore.
# The effect on local fish stocks and therefore on the fishing industry cannot be predicted, like so many other features of this project.
# The proposed site of the wind farm is on an important bird migration route.
As no formal application has yet been made to The Planning Inspectorate by the developer, the Navitus Bay Offshore Wind Farm scheme is at its 'Pre-Application' stage. Please note that the developer is expected to submit its application in Quarter 1 of 2014.
Until the application is submitted, your first point of contact should be the developer. Taking part by commenting at this stage does not prejudice your ability to make comments to the Planning Inspectorate on the scheme later in the process. Therefore you should inform the developer about your concerns as soon as possible and allow time for a response. In this instance I note you have already contacted the developer and as such at this stage of the Planning Act 2008 process I would encourage you to continue to correspond directly with them.
Should the application be formally submitted, the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State has a 28 day period to determine whether to accept the application to progress to Examination. If the application progresses to Examination, the process then asks people to register as an ?Interested Party? with the Planning Inspectorate by sending us a 'Relevant Representation' about the proposal. This Representation will be considered by the appointed Examining Authority during the Examination period.
The Planning Inspectorate has produced several advice notes to help provide an overview of the Planning Act 2008 process and the opportunities to get involved. These are available at the following link: attachment 1 . In this instance I recommend the advice note eight series - 'How to get involved in the planning process'.