Navitus Bay has ‘no excuse’ for not delivering full information about the environmental impacts of their proposed wind farm.
That’s the view of Bourne-mouth council, which said its confidence in the integrity of Navitus Bay has been ‘undermined’.
Cabinet members will on Wednesday agree their response to a consultation on the plans for a 218-turbine wind park.
Navitus Bay Development Ltd (NBDL) is seeking feedback on the environmental information available to date and suggestions on the potential mitigation measures proposed.
The report to be presented to cabinet states that Bournemouth council were initially ‘open-minded and co-operative’ but officers and councillors had been frustrated by ‘difficulties throughout the consultation process’.
It adds that it was ‘disappointing’ that NBDL been unable to satisfy ‘basic requests’ – including comprehensive visitor research across all markets over a full calendar year, accurate visualisations and specific stud-ies relating to the particular environmental issues and char-acteristics of the development.
NBDL is also criticised for its analysis of how the wind farm could affect tourism and the local economy.
“The developer has converted the project expenditure into a statement of additional jobs and income but has failed to make a similar calculation for the jobs and employment losses resulting from the large-scale visitor reductions predicted by the developer.
“This gives a distorted and grossly overstated picture of the net economic effects.
“It should also be noted that there is no indication that any of the potential new jobs would be in Bournemouth.”
And the report ends: “The potential of a major wind farm development off the coast of Bournemouth has generated a great deal of public interest and opinion.
“The council notes the arguments both for and against and recognises the frustration of many resident organisations who have been trying to make sense of the proposals.”
Mike Unsworth, project director at Navitus Bay, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the public that the information we have provided during the public consultation is of the highest quality.
“In particular, the Premilinary Environmental Information is an incredibly detailed document that is the culmination of three years of in-depth environmental work undertaken by a range of independent experts on behalf of Navitus Bay.
“The aim of this work was to understand the potential effects the project could have on the environment and local communities and establish the best way to mitigate against any potential negative impacts.
“We have communicated with councils about the work we have been carrying out throughout the process.”
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