Council leader questions wind farm

Dorset Echo: Council leader questions wind farm Council leader questions wind farm

THE PROPOSED Navitus Bay wind farm development could produce as little as 20 to 30 per cent of the one gigawatt estimated output quoted in the original planning application, it was claimed at Dorset County Council's cabinet meeting today.

On Tuesday the county council's planning committee met to discuss the proposed development and opposed the application.

In the cabinet's decision today, they supported the planning committee's decision and opposed the wind farm application in its current form.

During the meeting chairman Cllr Spencer Flower referred to claims there could be discrepancies between estimated and actual power output from the turbines.

Cllr Flower said: “The public are being asked to make a big sacrifice. There is tremendous destruction of our natural environment for what seems to be little gain.”

Don Gobbett, head of planning, confirmed he did not have precise figures on average output and added estimates quoted by Navitus Bay Development Limited were standard figures used for a large number of wind farms and might not accurately reflect the average maximum output.

He suggested NBDL's initial estimates might not reflect average output if calculations were based on all turbines operating at once, or did not consider some energy could be lost when transferring it from the turbines.

Other points raised echoed many of the initial report findings mentioning light pollution, noise, and potential effects on wildlife and the environment.

Councillors also discussed the possibility the wind farm could compromise the status and spirit of Durlston Park and the Jurassic Coast.

Cllr Rebecca Knox said the application's references to the visual impact of the development were too brief.

“The impact of the offshore development is not communicated strongly enough. People might think that if they don't live on the coast it won't affect them. It will.”

Vice-chairman Cllr Robert Gould said the council wanted to make sure businesses and tourists were attracted to Dorset using the right kind of projects, adding: “We are not saying no to development, we are positive we want to deliver the right sort of development and investment that brings business to Dorset.”

Today's meeting marked the council's final response on the application, which will now go to the Planning Inspectorate.

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