Wind farm developers Navitus Bay have been taken to task for “keeping residents and councillors in the dark” over the full impact of their proposals.
Frustration over the quality and quantity of information provided by Navitus Bay Developments Ltd (NBDL) prompted a suggestion that Bournemouth council call on the Government to ‘throw the plans out without further ado’.
But cabinet members instead decided to ask the town’s two MPs to pass on their disappointment about Navitus’ failure to answer their questions and provide additional information.
Cllr Stephen Chappell, right, a backbench Conservative councillor, said: “It’s quite clear that residents feel that they’re being kept in the dark about many details of these enormous white elephants that are supposed to enlighten our darkness.
“We ought to be saying and making representations to the Secretary of State that this application for the development consent order doesn’t meet the required standard in order to proceed to examination and should be thrown out at this stage without further ado.
“I think we should be making these representations in the interests of this town and in the interests of all the residents that have complained about the lack of information and of these details.”
Cabinet members agreed to respond to Navitus Bay’s consultation on its environmental impact assessment by saying that they did not believe that all relevant environmental information had been collected and assessed fairly, they did not believe NBDL’s conclusions on the likely impact of the wind farm were reasonable and they did not believe the mitigation measures would be sufficient to avoid harm.
They will also ask Tobias Ellwood and Conor Burns to make representations to the Secretary of State on their behalf, expressing their concern that NBDL was being unco-operative.
Mike Unsworth, Project Director at Navitus Bay, said: “I strongly defend both the quality and quantity of information we provided during the most recent consultation.
“It is the result of three years in-depth research into the potential impacts of the wind park undertaken by independent experts. We have communicated with councils about the work we have been carrying out throughout the process.
“During the consultation, the results of the research have been provided to stakeholders and the wider public in documents that are both comprehensive and thorough. In particular the Preliminary Environmental Information (PEI3) is an incredibly detailed document, standing at over 1,000 pages.”
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