Wind farm threat?

14:17 27 June 2014

Stephen Ring - Abbotsham/Green Cliff June

Stephen Ring - Abbotsham/Green Cliff June

Stephen Ring

Visitor numbers to Exmouth could fall by a third if the Jurassic Coast was ‘industrialised’ and a massive wind farm was built.

That’s the warning from opponents of a £3.5billion bid to build 200, 200-metre-high turbines nine miles south of Swanage.

They claim that the Navitus green energy project could even jeopardise the international World Heritage Site (WHS) status of the 95-mile coastline from Exmouth to Studland Bay.

It follows a letter from Kishore Rao, director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, to the Department for Culture Media and Sport. The letter says that the scheme would ‘dominate’ the area, changing the seascape for ever.

Campaigners say the project would industrialise one of the region’s best-loved tourist areas.

Campaign group chairman Roy Pointer told the Journal: “The French/Dutch consortium behind the project admit that 30 per cent of tourists would be put off coming during the five-year construction period.”

Exmouth’s John Wokersien, of The Jurassic Coast Steering Group, said: “At the eastern end of the site, particularly Swanage, there is great concern about the placing of many wind turbines which will affect the view from the Needles, Swanage, Durlston Castle and that area.

“So, whilst there is a pressing need for alternative energy to reduce carbon emissions in the world, the location is always going to be a problem both on land and at sea. A lot of work is currently under way to ensure that the impacts of a wind farm will be minimised. Naturally the people whose views will be affected are not at all happy.”

“The decision makers have the unenviable task of striking a balance between the national interest of reducing dependence on carbon producing fuel and the impact on the beautiful views that will be affected.”

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