World’s largest wind farm with turbines taller than the Wembley Arch will ‘blight’ England’s only World Heritage site
Plans to build the world’s largest wind farm at one of Britain’s top tourist attractions are facing new opposition after protestors mocked up a video showing how the giant turbines will ‘blight’ the area.
The controversial project will see 250, 450ft turbines built a few miles off Britain’s heavily-protected Jurassic Coast – each one taller than the Wembley Stadium Arch.
The £3 billion farm will be visible to the millions of tourists who visit the Dorset and Isle of Wight coast every year – and tourism chiefs fear it will drive visitors away from the area, currently Britain’s only World Heritage site.
Although plans for the farm have not yet been submitted, a protest group has made a short 3D film of what it will look like.
The results have left local tourism bosses and residents shocked. They fear the farm will be a blot on the landscape and put people off from visiting the area.
The turbines, which will protrude 330ft out of the water, will provide enough energy to power 820,000 homes.
Dutch energy company Eneco have earmarked a 76 square mile area of the English Channel for the Navitus Bay Wind Park.
They have got permission from the Crown Estate, which owns the sea bed, but they will need planning consent from the government.
Andrew Langley, of Challenge Navitus, a group opposing the farm, is an engineer specialising is mathematical modelling and has created the video showing what the windfarm will look like.
He said: ‘I decided to create the video because I felt the public had not been well informed about the plan.
‘Hundreds of hours of work have gone into making the video, we combined different software and used mathematics to do it.
‘It provided a better and more accurate interpretation than a static image and I think that the movement, brightness, and contrast, make it more convincing and realistic.
‘When people have seen the animation they think ‘is it really like that?’
‘I think it’s a risk to tourism, it’s not particularly pretty and that will affect it.
‘The farm will be next to two areas of outstanding natural beauty and next to a World Heritage site, so my opinion is that if they were to put the wind turbines in as the animation shows then it would be an eyesore.’
The turbines will be positioned about 10 miles off Bournemouth and eight miles off Swanage.
Stephen Chappell, a member of Bournemouth Borough Council, was one of a number of local dignitaries for local authorities who were shown the video.
He said: ‘Everyone who saw it was shocked.
‘My reaction was one of concern when I saw it. It is a lovely setting on our Dorset Heritage Coast and the wind farm will have a huge impact.
‘It will adversely effect tourism. People do not want to see a whole load of these wind farms when they visit the coast.
‘It will also have effect on the water leisure and marine industries and the impact on migrating birds, they will get killed in the turbines.
‘The video montage showed quite clearly the dominance of the proposal, the hundreds of turbines would transform the area from a residential and leisure bay with a small fishing fleet into an industrial site of an unacceptable scale.’
Colin Jamieson, of Dorset County Council, added: ‘It is clear that the impact of the wind farm is far more significant than that shown in the Navitus documentation.
‘Of particular interest is the scale of the proposal, the distance from the coastal vantage points.
‘The video montage showed quite clearly the dominance of the proposal.’
Conor Burns, the Conservative MP for Bournemouth West, has launched a petition calling for the turbines to be positioned out of view of the coast.
Helen Cassini, consents manager for Navitus Bay, said: ‘Eneco is unable to comment on the accuracy of the ‘Challenge Navitus’ videos as we are not aware of the methodology which was used to create them on the website.
‘At the public exhibitions Eneco showcased its own visualisation montages to give people an idea of how the wind farm could look from various viewpoints along the south coast with these being developed by an independent specialist consultancy which adhered to Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) methodology for developing visual montages for wind farm developments.’
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