New plan for waterfront site earmarked for £800m redevelopment
PLANNING chiefs have received another application to store wind turbine blades on land earmarked for a massive redevelopment project expected to cost £800m.
Fawley Waterside Ltd (FWL) is seeking consent to stockpile blades on two parts of a 300-acre site formerly occupied by Fawley power station.
As reported in the Daily Echo, FWL is planning to build more than 1,000 homes on the land, plus commercial and community facilities.
The ambitious scheme was approved in principle by New Forest District Council in 2020.
But the latest application to temporarily store wind turbine blades on the site says the authority is working with FWL to resolve matters that need to be agreed before the necessary legal agreement can be completed.
READ MORE: Fawley Waterside awaiting consent for £800m power station scheme
Previous proposals to stockpile blades on the land, and at nearby Fawley Quarry, have been approved by the council and the New Forest National Park Authority.
The new application follows the expiry of planning permission to use the quarry.
If consent is granted blades will be stored - until December 2025 - on land previously occupied by the power station's boiler room and control room.
A planning statement that accompanies the application says Vestas manufactures the 80m long blades at Newport on the Isle of Wight and moves them by barge to Fawley for painting and storage.
It adds: "The current production will be used for the Seagreen offshore wind farm that is located in UK North Sea waters.
"The pre-assembly port for the project is the Port of Able on the River Tees.
"Currently approximately six blades per week are made at Newport and these need to be stored at Fawley before they are moved in batches to the Port of Able.
READ MORE: New Forest District Council approves plan to transform Fawley power station site
"The majority of blades are erected off-shore during the summer months due to adverse weather conditions during the winter. Therefore there is a particular need to store blades produced during the winter."
In 2019 the then Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, visited Fawley to see blades being painted.
He heard how the Vestas site employed around 50 people while a further 700 staff worked at the company's manufacturing site across the Solent.
Mr Corbyn described the process as "very impressive indeed".
He added: "I’ve been talking to the directors about the systems they use and the very high quality of the work they do, but also the jobs that have been created and the training that’s needed for those jobs."
A message from the Editor
Thank you for reading this article. Your support means we can bring you the latest breaking news, exclusive Saints features and coverage - and much more.
Digital subscribers get unrestricted access to all of our stories, our dedicated app including e-version of the newspaper, and an advertising-light website.
If you want all the latest articles delivered straight to your inbox you can join the thousands of subscribers who are signed up to our newsletters.
They include our popular daily morning news briefing, breaking news, crime and court, and Southampton FC bulletins - plus business, heritage and our what's on newsletters.