Development consent was refused for the proposed Navitus Bay Wind Park in Dorset last week. As a ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project’, the application was decided by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Landscape and visual impacts were considered ‘significant and relatively long term’ with respect to impacts on local designated landscapes: the Dorset and Isle of Wight AONBs, New Forest National Park and Heritage Coasts.

LUC advised the National Trust and Natural England on the impacts of the scheme on the special qualities of the designated landscapes. We undertook the responses to the statutory consultation on behalf of Natural England and acted as Expert Advisor in the examination process.

The decision highlights how, even at some distance, a development in the setting of a designated landscape can affect its special qualities.