Government plans to ditch subsidies for onshore wind farms cannot be seen as good news for those fighting the Navitus Bay plans, says one of Bournemouth’s MPs.
The green energy debate has come to the fore again after the Scottish energy minister complained that his country was being frozen out of key decisions.
The Government is planning to stop subsidies for onshore wind power and Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to consult with Scotland before any change, but that has not been the case.
Conor Burns, Conservative MP for Bournemouth West, said that, far from implying that the same could happen for offshore wind power, he feared that scrapping subsidies for onshore wind would put more pressure on other renewable energy sources.
The plans for the Navitus Bay wind farm – which would see 121 turbines at 200 metres tall installed 13 miles away from Bournemouth and Poole and nine from Swanage – are being considered by the Planning Inspectorate, which is due to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, on Thursday.
A scaled-down ‘mitigation option’ would see 78 turbines, if chosen.
However, the recommendation by the Planning Inspectorate will be not made public and the Secretary of State then has three further months to make a decision on the scheme.
Both the recommendation and decision will be made public at the same time, on or before September 11.
Mr Burns told the Daily Echo: “I think we’re now involved in the battle of our lives over this offshore wind farm.
“If the Government has a target for the amount of energy it wants to generate from green sources and onshore is off the agenda, then it possibly means more pressure for offshore.
“I’m not trying to fight the wind farm on whether it’s good or bad, but on why the Navitus proposal is the wrong proposal in the wrong place and there are good reasons in terms of economic reasons and on that fact that it’s the Jurassic Coast, irrespective of government policy.
“We will continue to make strong representations behind the scenes.
“The Prime Minister said when he was campaigning in Mid Dorset during the election that his MPs had left him in no doubt of our feelings about it.
“The reining-back of onshore wind is not by any means good news for those opposing offshore.”
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