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300 turbines to be built off Bournemouth coast?

Up to 300 wind turbines, towering up to 205 metres high, could be built off the Bournemouth and Poole coast.

A new report reveals the scale of controversial proposals for a wind farm 10.2 miles from Bournemouth Pier.

It comes just days after warnings that the Navitus Bay Wind Park could affect visitor numbers and cost 500 jobs in Dorset’s tourism sector.

Bournemouth’s head of tourism Mark Smith said research in Scotland had shown that two to three per cent of visitors would not return to an area with a wind farm.

The council’s principal planning officer Steve Davies will update planning board members on the scheme on Monday night.

In his report, Mr Davies says a typical turbine will have a rotor diameter range of 90 to 176 metres and maximum tip height of up to 205 metres with a hub height of 120 metres.

“According to the current indications the wind park will provide up to 300 turbines. The use of larger turbines with greater generating capacity will reduce the actual number of turbines required. The turbines will be a semi-matt pale grey in colour.”

He stresses that the proposals are at the pre-consultation stage adding: “This is a long term project with a long lead in period. At this stage the council is not expected to give a formal view on the proposal.”

Cllr David Smith said: “The bigger the turbines are the more impact they will have on our coastal views and our tourism industry.

“A major concern is the wind farm’s proximity to the shore and we would like to see the turbines being erected further out to sea.

“The turbine size envisaged is huge and, positioned just off the end of the Isle of Wight, they would dwarf The Needles.”

Eneco is holding a public consultation update meeting at Bournemouth Pavilion on Saturday, February 25 between 10 am and four.

The pre-application process is expected to start in May with a projected opening date in 2019.