From left to right; Chris Lisher, Yarmouth Harbour chief executive and harbour master with Navitus Bay project manager Sean Matthews and Isle of Wight Council cabinet member for sustainability Cllr Luisa Hillard.
CONTROVERSIAL plans for a huge offshore wind park off the south-west of the Island have been scaled back for a second time.
Navitus Bay Developments Ltd announced yesterday (Thursday) it would remove the northernmost part of the £3.5 billion windfarm — the top triangle — to move the site up to 2.6 miles further away from the shore.
The latest change, when combined with the previous scaling back of the project in December 2012, would significantly reduce the visual impact of the wind park from all viewpoints along the coast, including the IW, the developer claimed.
It said the new boundary would:
•Reduce the maximum number of turbines, assuming the use of the 5MW model, from 218 to 194.
•Increase the distance of the boundary to the Needles by 2.3 miles, from 8.6 miles to 10.9 miles.
Open up a clear gap between the southern coast of the IW and the development.
Mike Unsworth, project director at Navitus Bay, said: "As we move towards submitting our final application for planning permission, we believe this latest boundary change is a positive step, ensuring the project reflects local views while bringing considerable benefits to the region."
If approved, the wind park would generate enough energy to power around 710,000 homes.
Yarmouth is one of three south coast ports competing to become a supply base for the windfarm, which could create around 160 long-term Isle of Wight jobs.
Concerns have been raised however, that the development could have a negative impact on tourism and spoil iconic views of the Needles.