Emotions ran high as 400 people packed a meeting about a wind farm proposed for the edge of Poole Bay.
Opponents showed images of what they predict the Navitus Bay offshore wind farm might look like during the highly-charged meeting at Bournemouth’s Royal Bath Hotel on Saturday.
The majority applauded criticisms of both the scheme and the developers, who were not at the event set up by Bournemouth council.
Andrew Langley, of Challenge Navitus, showed videos of the view panning across from Bournemouth seafront with the farm 12.24 miles away, and another from the closest spot, 8.89 miles away from Durlston Head at Swanage.
He said: “Navitus Bay have had a monopoly about what was being presented and we felt that was unhealthy in the circumstances.
“It’s such a large development that it’s difficult to get it in your head.”
Dr Langley illustrated the size of the wind farm by placing a shaded area over Dorset to compare how far it would spread if it was on land, saying it would stretch from Sandbanks to Verwood and up as far as Wimborne.
He said having it “at the mouth of the bay is the worst possible location”.
Roy Pointer, from the Poole and Christchurch Bays Association, showed how the turbines, which could be 200m tall, compared in size to the Imax.
The plans show up to 218 could be installed and in a joke about the Imax demolition he said “one down, 200 to go”.
Cllr John Beasley, leader of Bournemouth council, said it seemed “bizarre to some people to be putting this development within visual reach of a World Heritage Site”.
Conor Burns, MP for Bournemouth West, Alderney and Branksome East, reminded the meeting the decision will be made by the secretary of state for energy and climate change.
“This is the biggest issue facing Bournemouth in the last 25 years,” he said.
The current public consultation runs until Friday, April 5, with more information available by calling 0800 008 6763.
FOLLOWING its third phase of consultation exhibitions earlier this year, Navitus Bay Development Ltd has said it will now hold another eight informal drop-in sessions before the chance to comment closes on April 5.
Mike Unsworth, project director, said: “Navitus Bay is committed to comprehensive consultation and ensuring that the local community is provided with as many opportunities as possible to access information on the proposed wind park.
“Now people have had a chance to consider our plans, the surgeries provide a further occasion for them to ask the project team questions and collect project information.
“No new material will be displayed.
“Phrase three consultation continues until Friday, April 5, and we would encourage as many as possible to make their views known. Project information is currently displayed in public libraries and on our website where you can complete an online consultation form.”
Sessions include: March 27, 9–12pm, West Moors Pavilion, Fryer Field, Bond Avenue, West Moors BH22 0LL; March 27, 2–5pm, Riviera Suite, Menzies Carlton Hotel, East Overcliff Grove Rd, Bournemouth, Dorset BH1 3DN; March 28, 9am–12pm, St Edwards Church Hall, Victoria Avenue, Swanage BH19 1AH; March 28, 2–5pm, Room 3B, RNLI College, West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HZ; April 3, 9am–12pm, New Milton Town Council – Town Hall, 2 Ashley Road, New Milton, BH25 6AS; April 3, 2–5pm, Main Hall – Portfield Community Hall, Portfield Road, Christchurch BH23 2AQ; April 4, 9am–12pm, Lymington Community Centre, Fuller-McLellan Hall, New Street, Lymington SO41 9BQ.
Anyone with enquires can call 0800 008 6763 – 9am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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