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Dorset councillors to cite tourism and seascape concerns in Navitus wind farm response

Dorset councillors are expected to cite concerns over tourism and the seascape as they agree their official response to the Navitus Bay wind farm plans today.

Planning committee members are being recommended to agree a holding response that can be sent to Navitus Bay Development Limited (NBDL) by the looming October 11 deadline.

This will agree that the proposal could offer significant benefits to Dorset but will also set out concerns that they have been provided with “insufficient detail” to fully quantify the impact the 218-turbine wind park will have.

Councillors are also expected to criticise the “out of date” information provided about its potential effect on tourism and question whether it could lead to the loss of the Jurassic Coast’s World Heritage status.

The report that will be considered at County Hall this afternoon includes a summary of findings from consultants commissioned to provide advice on the technical aspects of the seascape and landscape visual impact assessment.

They checked the images provided both by NBDL and by wind farm opponents Challenge Navitus and concluded that both were useful and compliant with relevant standards and neither had been set up to deliberately mislead.

However, they expressed “disappointment” that NBDL declined their request for 70mm or 75mm focal length single frame printed images that would provide a clearer picture of what the development would look like.

The consultants also confirmed the wind park could not sited entirely out of sight of land if it is to stay within the current development site boundary. But they say visual intrusion could be reduced by choosing a different location.

n Bournemouth cabinet members will consider their official response to the controversial proposals at their meeting next Wednesday. They too are expected to express concerns about the impact on tourism and the local economy.