RESIDENTS have been having their say about proposals for a wind farm off the coast of Dorset.

More than 600 people attended a meeting at the BIC in Bournemouth following the submission of plans for the Navitus Bay project.

The meeting was organised by Bournemouth Council, which as a statutory consultee will pass its views on to the planning inspectorate when it comes to consider the plans submitted by Navitus Bay Development Ltd.

The audience heard from speakers for and against the application, including project director Mike Unsworth, Roy Pointer of the Poole and Christchurch Bays’ Association and Andrew Langley of campaign group Challenge Navitus.

They also had a chance to air their own views in a lengthy public session.

Council leader John Beesley, who told the meeting about the council’s role on the process, said the turnout reflected the great strength of feeling among residents.

He said the views of the public expressed at the meeting, part of the council’s consultation process, would have ‘very significant weight’ with the planning inspectorate.

It is anticipated that the final decision on the application will be made by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change after the next general election.

The £3billion wind farm would consist of up to 194 turbines, up to 200 metres high.

Cables would hit land at Taddiford Gap, between Barton-on-Sea and New Milton, and run 22 miles to a new sub-station at Mannington near Wimborne.

It is officially designated as a ‘nationally significant’ infrastructure project.