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Navitus Bay wind farm opponents welcome government subsidy cuts

Opponents of a controversial wind farm in Poole Bay have welcomed a possible reduction in government subsidies and called for more extensive cuts.

The Navitus Bay wind farm would stretch 76 square miles between Purbeck and the Isle of Wight and contain 150-300 wind turbines up to 210 metres high.

Earlier this year Dorset MPs including Chris Chope and Richard Drax were part of a group of 100 Conservative backbenchers urging the government to reconsider their backing for wind farms.

And now, with Chancellor George Osborne announcing a 25 per cent reduction in subsidies for onshore wind farms, campaigners want to see this extended to offshore plans as well.

Christchurch MP Chris Chope said: “I am very pleased and obviously if the subsidies for onshore are deemed to be too large, the subsidies for offshore are even less justified.

“Almost every person I speak to is against the Navitus Bay Wind Farm.

“That does not mean to say they are not in favour of alternative energy, they just think that this is not the right solution.”

He added: “The Chancellor is right to do this – a bit late in the day, but he is right.

“I think one of the problems is renewable energy is designed to exclude nuclear energy.

“I think we should go for more nuclear, it is a proper longer term solution.”

David Lloyd, spokesman for the Challenge Navitus, a group dedicated solely to stopping the Poole Bay windfarm, said they welcomed anything that would increase costs for the company.

“There are a lot of people that are concerned about the level of subsidies and if they are reduced then potentially the economical element becomes more of a factor.

“Anything that makes consideration about the location of this farm more prominent, we would welcome.”

Recently Bournemouth Tourism boss Mark Smith spoke out about frustrations surrounding the wind farm, namely the lack of images of how it would look.

And at a recent meeting with yacht owners at Parkstone Yacht Club more than 75 per cent of attendees, which included members of several Dorset sailing clubs, believed the turbines were an “unacceptable risk”.