The Navitus Bay wind farm would ‘blight one of the jewels in Britain’s coastal crown’ for decades, Parliament has heard.
Dorset MPs called on ministers to ‘think very carefully’ about allowing the 76-square mile farm to be built off the Purbeck coast, during an adjournment debate secured by South Dorset Conservative MP Richard Drax.
Mr Drax voiced concerns how, at 13km offshore, some of the proposed turbines were inside the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s own boundary guidelines.
The debate also highlighted concerns that the Jurassic Coast’s World Heritage status could be threatened by the scheme.
Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns criticised Eneco – the Dutch energy company behind the wind farm bid – for failing to state exactly how much electricity would be produced. The wind farm would stretch between Purbeck and the Isle of Wight and contain anywhere from 150-300 turbines, up to 210 metres high.
Mr Drax said tourists spend nearly £700million a year on the Jurassic Coast.
“They (tourists) support more than 45,000 jobs. And yes, the unspoilt view is key to this success.
“So why are we considering jeopardising this jewel by siting a giant wind farm just offshore?
“Just one of these giant turbines would be significant – 100 of them, if smaller turbines are used, would blight the coastline for years.”
Energy minister Charles Hendry said the wind farm was not a ‘done deal’. Navitus Bay project director Mike Unsworth said: “We are committed to a genuine, transparent conversation with the community about the Navitus bay wind park.
“We are working hard to demonstrate to groups and individuals what Navitus Bay will mean for the community including the many benefits it will bring such as jobs, skills creations and local investment.”