wind turbine

The proposal has been rejected saying that the £3.5bn project could harm the views from Outstanding Natural Beauty and England’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A DECC spokesperson said: "Careful consideration has been given to the application, and the planning and energy issues involved."

Refusal by the Energy Minister Lord Bourne also follows a recommendation issued in June by the Planning Inspectorate that permission should be refused for the project.

Planning Inspectorate chief executive Simon Ridley said: "Alongside national policy and evidence of the need for the project, the views and comments from communities, particularly those near the South East coast of England who might be affected by this proposal, greatly assisted the Examining Authority in considering the overall impacts of the project."

The project, which was planned to have 121 of MHI Vestas turbine installations, is being developed by Navitus Bay Development consortium which is equally owned by Dutch energy group Eneco and French EDF’s green energy unit.

Navitus Bay project director Stuart Grantsaid: "While we are clearly disappointed by today’s decision, we would like to thank the communities of Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and all our stakeholders for the high level of engagement they’ve shown in the project, including their responses to our consultations and during the examination process.

"During the past five years the project team has carried out comprehensive stakeholder and community consultation.

"We will now discuss the options available with our shareholders and update stakeholders in due course."

Once operational, the project would have supplied power to nearly 700,000 UK households in addition to deliver up to £1.6bn as economic benefit for the region.

Image: Navitus Bay project was planned to have up to 121 of MHI Vestas turbine. Photo: courtesy of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind.