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Battle to save Bournemouth’s views from wind farm blight  

Credit:  By Julie Magee | Daily Echo | www.bournemouthecho.co.uk 16 July 2012 ~~

Planners are preparing for battle to preserve Bournemouth’s famous sea views, amid fears that they could be lost forever.

Although the council is not being formally consulted on Eneco’s wind park plans for Poole Bay, the borough’s planning board members are determined to make their voices heard.

In a report to the board today, principal planning officer Steve Davies says the council is being asked to consider the “proposed methodologies for assessing the likely environmental impacts” of the controversial development.

He adds: “This is the first opportunity the council has had to formally respond.

“Whilst the consultation seeks only comment on the methodology it would be appropriate, in my view, to set out any concerns about the overall project.”

Mr Davies recommends that the council highlights its concerns about ‘the potential visual impact of the wind farm.’ He adds: “The proposed wind park could be a noticeable feature in the bay because of the number and scale of the turbines. It could have a marked impact on the horizon.

“The view from Bournemouth beach and cliff top is world renowned.

“It is open and unspoilt apart from the occasional boat.

“Sea views are very important to local people and visitors,” he added.

Mr Davies stresses that the strength of public opinion against the Waterfront building has shown ‘how cherished the sea views are to the town’.

Earlier this year the planning board objected to plans for a meteorological mast in the bay, citing concerns that the 100-metre-high structure could take its toll on tourism.

Tourism director Mark Smith said: “The views in the bay remain our main attraction; anything built there concerns us.”

Mike Unsworth, project director of Navitus Bay, said: “We are committed to a genuine and transparent conversation with the local community around Nav-itus Bay and our plans to generate renewable energy for up to 820,000 homes.

“This extensive consultation process is vital in helping shape our final proposals “ We are currently undertaking the environmental impact assessment and the possible impact on landscape and seascape will be fully assessed.”

Source:  By Julie Magee | Daily Echo | www.bournemouthecho.co.uk 16 July 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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