THE company behind the proposed wind farm off the Dorset coast has expressed ‘disappointment’ at the opposition from local councils Dorset County Council and Poole Conservative councillors have both spoken out against the scheme.

In reply Mike Unsworth, project director at Navitus Bay has pointed up the benefits the £3billion project would bring.

“We are disappointed at the stance taken by the Dorset County Council and the Conservatives Councillors of the Borough of Poole Council on the proposed wind park,” he said.

“Polls conducted for Navitus Bay by independent researchers, combined with our own experience of talking to local residents, indicate majority support for the project and wind energy more generally across Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

“If the wind park is given planning permission, it will not only make an important contribution to renewable energy production in the UK, it will also have a significant positive impact on the local economy.

“According to latest independent projections, peak construction years could support a minimum of 1,700 jobs. The wind park’s operations and maintenance (O&M) base – for which Poole, Portland and Yarmouth Harbours have been shortlisted as hosts – is expected to support around 140 jobs annually.

“The O&M base alone is expected to provide an economic value to the region of £590 million over the 25-year lifespan of the project.

“We would urge local residents and organisations who want to see these benefits realised across the region to register their views with the Planning Inspectorate.”

Poole’s 19-strong Conservative group has issued a statement unanimously opposing the wind farm, stating that to “place an inefficient industrial complex” in an area of outstanding natural beauty ‘offends common sense’.

And Dorset County Council’s cabinet upheld the planning committee’s opposition to the application in its current form.

There were fears it could produce as little as 20 to 30 per cent of the one gigawatt estimated output quoted in the original application.