Dorset’s economy could suffer if the Navitus Bay Wind Farm project is given the green light, tourism leaders have warned.
The company behind the windfarm proposals wants to build 121 turbines at 200 metres high – or 78 if a scaled-down ‘mitigation option’ is chosen.
The decision on the project, which has attracted substantial opposition, now rests with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, who is due to decide by September 11.
During a meeting with the Bournemouth Tourism Management Board, Chief Executive of Visit England James Berresford urged the Secretary of State to consider the potential impact on Dorset’s economy if the plans were approved.
He said: “Tourism is a key part of Dorset’s economy and should be taken seriously as a defining factor in any planning decision.
“I can only hope that tourism and its exceptional value will be taken into full and due consideration in the review of the current application for the offshore wind farm, which research has warned could seriously undermine the long term health of the local economy.
“Visit England is about working in partnership to create great destinations and great experiences for all visitors to drive growth in tourism.
“It would be a huge blow for the economy in the Dorset area should any development impact detrimentally on the tourism sector.”
Des Simmons, Chairman of the Bournemouth Tourism Management Board said the comments from Visit England added national weight to the development’s opposition.