Navitus Bay: I’ve been proved right about height of wind turbines, says retired scientist who challenged images
A retired research scientist who challenged photomontages of the controversial wind farm planned for the Dorset coast says he has been proved right – more than six months after making a formal complaint.
As reported in the Daily Echo in February, Alan Heasman, from Westbourne, said he used simple geometry and based his calculations on the maximum turbine height that could be installed, 200m.
Developer Navitus Bay Development Limited’s plans would see a maximum of 218 turbines placed 12 miles away from Bournemouth.
He challenged a photomontage that has been presented to the public, showing the wind farm from Hengistbury Head.
Mr Heasman said the turbines were drawn about 30 per cent smaller than they would actually be.
Now, he has had a response from NBDL and its landscape architects LDA Design essentially admitting that he was correct, he says.
Mr Heasman, who is not allied to any group for or against the wind farm, said: “In a nutshell, they confirm by 3D modelling that the nearest turbine should be 128 per cent of the apparent height of the high point of Tennyson Down (on the Isle of Wight).
“In my original complaint, I had determined by using basic equipment – callipers and a magnifying glass – that the nearest turbine on the photomontage was only 105.3 per cent higher relative to the high point of Tennyson Down.”
He said that meant that the public – both those attending the exhibitions and those surveyed for a key report on the potential impacts on tourism in the area – were misled.
Mr Heasman also criticised the time taken to respond and accused NBDL of holding out until close to the October 11 conclusion to the public consultation.
It all comes as NBDL embarked on its new round of public exhibitions at the Captains Club in Christchurch yesterday.
NBDL said it rejected Mr Heasman’s claim that the visual representations are misleading.
Mike Unsworth, project director for NBDL, said: “We totally reject Mr Heasman’s claim that Navitus Bay’s visual representations of the project are misleading.
“Following Mr Heasman’s letter and discussions, our independent landscape architects prepared a detailed technical note addressing Mr Heasman’s concerns. The conclusion of the technical note was that the accuracy of Navitus Bay’s 3D model used to generate the visualisation during the February 2013 public exhibitions was correct.
“It is acknowledged that both photographic and printing processes have resolution limitations.
“This is particularly apparent for projects so far offshore (nearest turbine from viewpoint 17.32 km).
“This is why wireframe diagrams were shown alongside the photomontages and these scaled correctly when measured at public exhibitions.”
He said NBDL produced its representations in line with Scottish Natural Heritage 2006 guidance on visuals which are considered best practice by the industry and are endorsed by the Landscape Institute.
Mr Unsworth said Mr Heasman’s comments were taken on board as part of the consultation process and it had responded when the surveys were made public.
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