Serious objections have been raised by Christchurch Council over the ‘monstrous’ Navitus Bay wind farm.
At an extraordinary meeting on Monday, councillors sent a strong message to the wind farm developers that they would not accept the damage the wind farm was likely to inflict on the Christchurch coast and countryside.
The scheme, which could see up to 194 turbines as high as 200 metres, has many critics, including opposition groups Poole and Christchurch Bays Association and Challenge Navitus, with Bournemouth and Purbeck councils also objecting.
As well as the visibility of the turbines from the coast and the effect on wildlife and tourism, councillors also objected to the large cable trench earmarked for Hurn Forest.
In unanimously objecting to the windfarm, councillors detailed their concerns in a local impact report to be sent to the developers in support of the authority’s stance.
Leader of Christchurch council, Cllr Ray Nottage said since 2011, ‘no one subject had exercised people more than this project’.
He said he ‘wasn’t convinced’ by the arguments for employment benefits, and hit out at the unpredictability of wind farms to create the amount of energy required.
Cllr David Jones, who described the wind farm as a “monstrosity”, said he was concerned by frequency of the word “mitigation” in the council’s impact report.
“It seems to me that the damage that could be done to the area cannot be mitigated; it will be too great”, he said.
Cllr Margaret Phipps, portfolio holder for the environment, said: “The environmental impact of this supposedly green wind farm is huge. I think it is actually environmentally wasteful. Surely producing renewable energy isn’t supposed to involve this sort of destruction to seascape, landscape and wildlife?
“I agree with other members that no mitigation can compensate for the damage to be caused.”
She added: “This proposal is in the wrong place.
“Turbines too close to shore and on a migratory bird route, the cable route corridor too long and too wide.
“The entire proposal has massive environmental and ecological consequences.”
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