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Put Navitus Bay wind farm further out to sea, say residents

Hengistbury Head residents have given an overwhelming thumbs-down to plans to site a wind farm off the Dorset coast.

There was standing room only at the last Hengistbury Residents’ Association meeting as residents listened to a presentation by the Navitus Bay Development Ltd (NBDL).

They were also able to question NBDL project director Mike Unsworth and representatives from the Crown Estate, LDA Design and Siemens.

Residents asked why they would not know the height, number and location of wind turbines until after planning consent had been granted and also raised concerns about the impact on tourism.

Following the question and answer session, residents were asked to vote on four different proposals.

There was a big majority that recognised the issues surrounding the wind farm, a big majority that rejected the scheme, a divided result on accepting a much reduced scheme and no-one in favour of accepting of existing 76 square mile scheme.

Cllr Eddie Coope, who represents East Southbourne and Tuckton and was at the meeting, said: “There must have been more than 100 people there, it was standing room only which I think reflects the interest and concern about this scheme.

“People appreciated the opportunity to ask questions and air their concerns but the overwhelming consensus was that this scheme needs to be further out to sea. This is one of the most protected bits of coastline in the whole of the UK and the general feeling is that this wind farm will be an eyesore.”

Previously, Mike Unsworth, project director of Navitus Bay Development Ltd, has told the Daily Echo that the number and height of turbines will be decided further down the line, as technology is developing all the time.

After the meeting, he added: “The Navitus Bay team very much appreciated the opportunity to present to HENRA.

“We had a constructive discussion which will help determine the information we provide at our next public consultation events in February 2013.

“With regards to how HENRA’s feedback will impact our wider plans, we are always keen to listen to views about the project and along with environmental and engineering considerations will take these on board where possible.

“The Navitus Bay team would like to thank HENRA for inviting and sharing their views with us and welcome engagement with other community groups.”

See the visualisations from both sides and read all our Challenge Navitus stories at bournemouthecho.co.uk/navitus