Opposition to a controversial plan for a giant wind farm off the Jurassic Coast is mounting
Patrick Sawer — The Telegraph — July 27, 2014
Conservative MPs have joined thousands of residents in objecting to plans for a giant offshore wind farm they fear will blight one of the most attractive stretches of Britain’s coastline.
Plans to build 194 wind turbines, each up to 650ft high, off the coast of Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have prompted widespread opposition from people who fear they will ruin magnificent views and damage tourism across much of what has come to be known as the Jurassic Coast.
More than 2,800 people registered their views on the Navitus Bay wind farm scheme by the time a consultation period held by the Planning Inspectorate closed, with around 90 per cent thought to have objected to the plans.
Now the area’s MPs have voiced their own opposition – claiming any benefits offered by the wind farm in terms of jobs would be outweighed by its impact on a treasured landscape.
Their warnings came after UNESCO said the World Heritage Status of the Jurassic Coast, which stretches along 96 miles of Dorset and East Devon coastline, could be withdrawn if the Navitus Bay scheme goes ahead.
Plans for the development were submitted in April, with its supporters claiming it will contribute £1.6bn to the economy over 25 years, and generate power for up to 700,000 homes.
But Richard Drax, the Conservative MP for South Dorset, said: “It beggars belief that anyone ever thought of putting a wind farm of this size and complexity here, so close to shore. We know already that it will have far reaching repercussions, way beyond anything the developers’ environmental impact report has acknowledged. For example, it has been independently calculated that the construction, with its resulting sediment disturbance, will affect 5 million square metres of seabed.
“Add to that a number of as yet unexplored effects, including constant sound, ultra low frequency hum, light flicker, rain shadows, radar shadows and the physical obstacles to bird and marine life and the scale of the problem becomes clearer.”
Mr Drax added that the wind farm would have a hugely detrimental impact on tourism, one of the area’s main industries. Continue reading here…..