Plans to erect a wind turbine in Langstone Harbour have been branded an environmental disaster in the making.
Havant Borough Council has proposed to erect a large wind turbine on the foreshore at Broadmarsh.
But conservationists say the turbine would ruin scenic views of both Langstone and nearby Chichester Harbour. And they claim it will put the lives of thousands of birds at risk from the turbine’s blades.
Chichester Harbourmaster John Davis said: ‘It seems they want a single wind turbine as a sort of flagship to show that Havant is green.
‘It’s simply tokenism. It would also have an impact on the area of outstanding natural beauty.’
John Chapman, a member of Langstone Residents’ Association, added: ‘You can’t just stick a wind turbine there without it causing disruption to the habitat.’
Langstone Harbour is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, boasting more than 50,000 birds at some times of the year, while Chichester Harbour is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty among its many accolades.
The council has put forward the proposal as part of its 20-year plan for the borough in which the council is considering ways of going green.
As well as the turbine, the council wants to erect solar panels at ‘gateways’ to the borough. It is also proposing to introduce tidal energy technology to generate power from the tides at the entrance to Chichester and Langstone Harbour.
But Havant Councillor Ann Buckley, who sits on the Chichester Harbour Conservancy, criticised her own council’s plans.
She said: ‘I think it is simply the borough trying to look environmental rather than concentrating on sustainable measures across the board.’
The proposals, which are in their very early stages, are currently out for public consultation.
Havant Borough Council leader David Gillett said the authority had a statutory obligation to earmark sites for sustainable energy.
By Jeff Travis
25 April 2008
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