Powergen has announced today that it has decided to put its plans for a wind farm in Portland Harbour on hold

Powergen has announced today that it has decided to put its plans for a wind farm in Portland Harbour on hold.

The RYA has been urging the company to drop its proposals that it believes has an adverse effect on high-performance racing opportunities as well as an impact on boating in general.

Powergen state they have reached an understanding with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regarding the timing of consent applications following completion of initial feasibility work. As a result they have decided to shelve the scheme for the time being.

Jason Scagell, head of Powergen Renewables has received numerous letters from individuals and organisations after the RYA circulated their concerns in January this year and asked others with similar feelings to make these known to Powergen or the RYA.

Even so, Powergen still believe the site is viable for wind farm development, but they will wait to ensure their proposals are in line with government thinking on offshore wind farm policy. This gives the RYA some relief as the recent round of offshore wind development have seen the creation of a ‘no-development’ zone within at least 8km of the shore.

Whilst Powergen state they are not abandoning the project and will continue with key monitoring programmes in specific areas, they have recognised the concern of the yachting community.

Susie Tomson, Planning and Environmental Officer at the RYA commented: “We are really pleased that Powergen has put the project on hold although we will continue to monitor any future proposals.”

She continued by adding: “We do, however, remain concerned that Powergen are simply planning to delay a decision until after the IOC makes its decision on the location of the 2012 Games next year and I fear they have not fully recognised the importance of the area for recreational boating outside of the Olympic bid. Being selected as the site for an Olympic regatta simply emphasises the importance of the area. Portland Harbour is utilised over 300 days a year for racing or race training.”