- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Planning committee unaminously objects to Navitus Bay wind farm plans

Dorset County Council’s planning committee has unanimously objected to proposals for an offshore wind farm.

The committee met today to discuss a report on the Navitus Bay application in order to help the council prepare a response that will go to the Planning Inspectorate.

Speaking during the committee, chairman Mike Lovell raised his concerns and proposed they objected to it.

He said: “I’m not happy about this. I don’t think it’s a good idea to be doing this on the say so we’ve got so far.

“I think we need considerably more evidence that this is not going to be detrimental to the night skies, birds and everything else.”

Cllr Peter Hall, vice-chairman of the committee, said he was concerned about the development’s onshore impact and how the wind farm’s cables would affect the highways.

Steve Savage, transport development manager at the county council, said: “We have come to the conclusion that the information they have provided is robust and the impact on the strategic network is short term and acceptable.

“There are no safety concerns we need to raise on this.”

Cllr Hall replied: “I’m very surprised with that answer.”

Cllr David Jones said he was happy to support the committee’s objection.

He said: “This proposal is quite frankly horrendous and I’m very disappointed if in some ways the report seems to be through slightly rose tinted glasses.”

Cllr Jones had previously asked how much power the wind farm would actually generate, claiming the one kilowatt figure offered in the application was an overestimate.

Don Gobbett, head of planning, said he had been unable to ascertain a figure.

Cllr Jones said: “For one kilowatt of energy produced by a wind farm, we need a conventional backup because if you don’t and the wind for reasons withstanding just breaks you are hundred percent independent on wind power and one hundred percent up the creek.

“This could have been a much more robust report and I’m disappointed that it isn’t.”

Councillors also heard representations from an amateur bird watcher, the Wessex Astronomical Society and Christchurch Sailing Club among others.

Bruce Longstaff, honorary secretary of the Wessex Astronomical Society, said: “The Society is concerned that the aviation and marine lighting marking the turbines will intrude on the visible sky, adding light pollution.

“Such lighting would destroy the essential dark sky quality.”

The views of the committee and those who spoke will now be put forward to the cabinet when they meet on Wednesday at 11am.

The cabinet will decide on a representation which will then be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.