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Navitus Bay Wind Park

Off shore wind turbine

Image: Daniel Pullan

In January 2010, Eneco, a Dutch energy company was successful in securing exclusive rights from the Crown Estate to develop an offshore wind park off the Dorset coast. In April 2012 Eneco was joined by French energy company EDF in promoting this scheme. The area of seabed lies approximately 8 miles south east of Swanage and 8.5 miles south west of the Isle of Wight, and covers some 279 square miles. 

The project, known as Navitus Bay Wind Park, if built will generate 900-1200MW. According to Eneco/EDF this is enough energy to power some 615,000 to 820,000 homes.

Generating energy from renewable resources is of crucial importance in the fight to stave off the worst excesses of climate change. The south west is blessed with a geography and climate that should be able to support a vibrant renewable energy industry. And offshore wind farms are part of the mix. However, while there is a great prize to be won here, we need to work hard to ensure that any renewable energy development is sited in the right place with minimal impact to the environment. Hence we are closely monitoring the progress of this project and making our comments known. 


Case type



The Devon, Dorset and Hampshire coasts are important for thousands of wintering and migrating birds. They also have important breeding bird populations. Many areas of both the coastline and its hinterland are designated as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) under the European Birds Directive and as Ramsar sites, designated under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. 

We anticipate that many thousands of birds will pass through the area proposed to be occupied by the offshore wind park, on migration. The implications of the wind park on these bird movements needs to be fully assessed.


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The RSPB have engaged with the Navitus Bay project since 2010. We have attended meetings, presentations and responded to public consultations. Our responses to Eneco/EDF's formal public consultations are available to download from this page.

Eneco/EDF will in due course submit their project for consent, together with supporting information including an Environmental Statement (ES), which should detail the implications of building, operating and ultimately decommissioning the wind farm on all important environmental features including wildlife.

When the project is submitted, we will consider the ES and other technical information. If we consider there is a significant risk to birds, or that the assessment is incomplete or inadequate, we will object. Currently we do not have a complete picture of the possible impacts. 

Our main concern is the need for Eneco/EDF to collect robust data and carry out a comprehensive assessment of the potential impacts of the project, both offshore (where the turbines will be located) and onshore (where the cabling and other infrastructure are to be located) on birds, especially migratory species.

We will continue to engage with the developers and their advisers in the run up to project submission, which is expected to be in early 2014.


January 2010

Eneco secures exclusive rights to develop an offshore wind park within 279 square miles of seabed off the Dorset coast (known as Zone 7) with a maximum capacity of 900-1200MW.

December 2010

Eneco produce their Site Selection and ZAP (Zone Appraisal and Planning). It identifies an area in the north of Zone 7 of 77 square miles which Eneco intend to develop as the wind park.

October 2011

Eneco produce their Detailed Preliminary Environmental Information (PEI) explaining what their research and surveying has identified to date. They also produce a Detailed Statement of Community Consultation.

December 2011

RSPB submit comments on the PEI to Enerco

January 2012

Eneco plan further rounds of consultation with stakeholders during 2012 and 2013.

December 2012

Eneco/EDF modify scheme reducing number and size of turbines.

October 2013

RSPB responds to the Proposed Navitus Bay Wind Park Preliminary Environmental Information 3 (see downloads)

Early 2014

Project submitted for development consent