Navitus Bay Windfarm

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Navitus Bay Windfarm

Postby John » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:06 pm

Southern Region held a meeting last Monday to discuss the current position with this proposed development in Poole Bay.
The meeting was mainly attended by representatives from Clubs very close to the proposed development. But it was generally felt that all Southern Region sailors who sail west of the Needles will be effected in some way by this proposal.

I have attached a copy of the meeting notes and I am asking you publicise this document in your club and if possible circulate to all your members.

Southern Region will be keeping a very close eye on the progress of this application and will advise of developments. We are opening a page on our website and over the next month put in additional pages of information.

We will keep you informed of these additional pages when they are loaded. If anyone wants any more factual advice please contact me on This site is not always monitored.

Richard Brown
Secretary RYA Southern Region

PATRON Her Majesty The Queen
PRESIDENT The Princess Royal KG, GCVO

Royal Yachting Association


Southern Region Wind Farm meeting
At Royal Lymington Y. C. 24.9.2012
Bob Russell, Chairman RYA Southern Region, opened the meeting and introduced Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager, Gus Lewis, Legal & Government Affairs Manager and Caroline Price, RYA Planning & Environmental Advisor to the meeting.
Stuart Carruthers was invited to inform the meeting where we are in the planning process of the Navitus Bay development application. The meeting was told that the environmental team at RYA House are still in regular contact with Eneco the developers. The RYA has in the past opposed this specific site, a very busy area for yachting, because of the potential impact upon recreational boating. That objection was set aside by the then Secretary of State and there has been no change with the present administration.
Stuart then showed a chart showing the proposed development site and discussing the navigational issues. The developers are now engaged in the statutory consultation process and it is vital that individuals and clubs engage in this process. Within the next few weeks the RYA will be publishing guidance on the types of issues that those opposed to the development may wish to consider. These will be circulated to all clubs and posted on the SRC website.
He then followed by talking about the role of the Planning Inspectorate and how interested parties can register their concerns for consideration. At this stage it is important for clubs and individuals to register concern through the developer’s website . This site is relatively easy to use and the text guides you through the process and gives Enico’s view of the proposal.
The point was made that RYA, by nature of its charter can only register concern over issues of navigation and had been doing so since 2008. Clubs and individuals are at liberty to raise their concerns over any issue, environmental or social, through the Infrastructure Planning Portal ( ) in the next stage of the consultation, which it is expected to start later this year. In response to questions the meeting was told that the masts of 98% of racing yachts participating in RORC races would pass under the blades. There would be at least 22 metres of air draft under the turbine blades. It was not envisaged that there would be any safety zones around the pylons but this could change at any time. The pylons would be strong enough to resist a direct hit by vessels up to 150 tons. It was pointed out that any vessel over 300 tons were likely to be excluded from the wind farm area. This could include all commercial craft navigating to and from the Solent and possibly fishing boats who are trawling. This would create added pressure on space for yachts to the north and south of the development and could well conflict with racing.
It was clearly stated that the RYA’s view is that the decision of whether a recreational vessel proceeds through the wind farm should rest with the skipper of the boat concerned. Wind shadows caused by the turbines were discussed at some length and the meeting was advised a wind shadow only occurs for a distance of 5 times the height of the object causing the obstruction so in its self-there was no serious issue. The fact that the pylons could be a hindrance in adverse weather conditions was another matter.
Serious doubt still exists over the data obtained by AIS, radar and visual observation giving a true picture of the effect of the wind farm on the recreational sailing area of Poole Bay. Further clarifications are being sought by the RYA. There is also concern over the long term effect the wind farm will have on yachting in Poole Bay and nearby areas including the Solent and related employment.
Navigational concerns, the meeting understood, are being raised by Trinity House particularly because the wind farm is mainly in the white Safe zone from Needles lighthouse. Most of the people attending the meeting thought that if the turbines were sited 12 miles off shore as originally intended the majority of the problems would not arise. All present seemed to strongly support the idea that the northernmost section of the proposed development area should not be allowed to proceed and that this would reduce the compression at the Northern end of the wind farm site. In response to a specific question as regards anchoring over the cables leading to the shore it was stated that the cables would be buried and there would be no anchoring restrictions between the wind farm site and the shore.
The majority of those attending the meeting were convinced that the case for siting the wind farm in the proposed site was not proved particularly as the south coast of England is a low wind area and the output would not make the site economically viable and it would take 40 years to recover the development costs.
It was suggested that Southern Region should take a stronger stand and it was pointed out that the region only had one say and it will be more effective for all clubs and individuals to state their objection as the size of objection is measured in numbers as well as quality. It was reemphasised by Stuart that the location of the wind farm was now not negotiable and that the area had been contractually let to Eneco.
It was agreed that Southern Region should set up web pages on their website to provide information on the consultative process. It is planned that this will be available and the site ( ) will be updated during the whole development process
The website will also provide information on navigational issues. Further information could be provided if requested or details of the links from where it can be obtained. In response to a question on which issues could be most usefully raised as objections to the development, Stuart Carruthers repeated that necessary web pages could be produced at RYA Hamble within the next month.
Stuart concluded by repeating that if local groups wished to influence the decision making process they had to make direct representations to the developers. The more individuals, clubs, organisations, local authorities and others affected put their objections forward the better.
The meeting concluded with a show of appreciation to Stuart and thanks to Royal Lymington for the use of their clubhouse.
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