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Protesters and wind farm representatives descend on Swanage
1:00pm Monday 14th January 2013 in News
PROTESTERS on both sides of the wind farm debate descended on Swanage yesterday.
The Navitus Bay wind farm, a joint venture by Dutch firm Eneco and French power company EDF Energy, could include up to 218 turbines placed off the Dorset coast between Swanage and the Isle of Wight.
The number of wind turbines was scaled down by wind farm bosses, from a maximum 333, in December.
As well as cutting back turbine numbers Navitus Bay has also announced the proposed site will be further out to sea.
If permitted, the park will be 12 miles from Bournemouth rather than 10, and 9.1 miles from Swanage rather than eight.
Each tower could be up to 200m tall.
Opponents fear the offshore plant will jeopardise tourism, harm marine wildlife and hamper shipping.
Protesters joined hands in a demonstration against the proposed wind farm yesterday morning along Swanage seafront.
Sunday’s protest was organised by Swanage couple Mike and Charlie Sanderson.
Charlie said protesters felt the wind farm was in the ‘worst possible location imaginable.’ She said the coastline would be ‘absolutely ruined.’ The protest was put together independently of main opposition group, Challenge Navitus.
Pro-green energy groups also gathered on Swanage seafront to show their support for ‘the principle of developing a wind power scheme off the Dorset coast.’ Angela Pooley, from East Dorset Friends of the Earth, said there was a lot of ‘hysteria and misinformation’ over the plans.
“We need renewables, wind is part of that.
“It’s not the total solution, but it is part of it,” she said.
A spokesman for Navitas Bay said before the protests that the company was ‘fully committed to working with and listening to the local community,’ and announced a new round of public consultations.
There will be a consultation on February 13, at St Edwards Church Hall, Swanage between 2-8pm.