The company behind the controversial Navitus Bay wind farm proposal has announced another round of public consultation.
Residents will be able to learn what’s next for the offshore wind park during a series of January drop-in sessions that include dates in Swanage, Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch.
Mike Unsworth, project director for Navitus Bay, said: “Since 2010 we have been carrying out comprehensive consultation with the community, and we would like this spirit of consultation to continue in 2014.”
Navitus Bay bosses want to erect up to 218 turbines, 8.89 miles off Swanage and 12.24 miles off the Bournemouth coast.
Opponents fear a wind farm could spell disaster for marine wildlife, while industrialising the landscape and threatening local tourist econ-omies.
Meanwhile, supporters say more green sc-hemes like Navitus Bay should be embraced to stave off a possible future energy crisis.
Swanage-based Challenge Navitus, the group dedicated to fighting the proposals, says its campaign has attracted “massive” support regionally and nationally. Group spokesman David Lloyd said: “Opposition to this industrialisation of our coastline is beginning to impact on various levels. “This is a bad plan in the wrong place. The real challenge for this development will come in the spring when Navitus Bay are expected to submit a formal planning application. We are ready to continue the fight to protect this wonderful coastline from avoidable industrialisation, and ensure it remains unspoilt for future generations to enjoy.”
The government recently announced it will offer more funds to offshore wind farms, while cutting support for onshore wind and solar energy plants.
Welcoming this move, Mr Unsworth said: “Offshore wind developments such as Navitus Bay will help the UK meet its carbon reduction targets, reduce our reliance on imported energy and boost the economy by creating tens of thousands of jobs.”
Forthcoming drop-in sessions:
Hope Jones Room, Lymington Community Centre, New Street, Lymington, January 21, from 10am to 1pm.
The Lighthouse Centre, Poole, January 22, from 10am to 1pm.
St Edwards Church Hall, Rempstone Road, Swanage, January 22, from 3pm to 6pm.
Menzies Carlton Hotel, East Overcliff, Grove Road, Bournemouth, January 23, from 3pm to 6pm.
The Lounge, New Milton Community Centre, Osborne Road, New Milton, January 24, from 10am to 1pm.
Captain’s Club Hotel, Wick Lane, Wick Lane, Christchurch, January 24, from 3pm to 6pm.
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