THE fight to stop a major wind farm from being built off the coast of Hampshire has been stepped up.
Navitus Bay Development Ltd (NBDL) wants to erect 194 turbines on a 60 square mile site west of the Isle of Wight.
But now Dorset County Council has set out the main grounds on which it will oppose the development.
A council report emphasises their concerns over the visual impact of the turbines, the impact on the Jurassic Coast’s World Heritage Status and the impact on Durlston Castle.
The council also has concerns the chalk seabed is not suitable for turbine foundations, concerns over the loss of habitat and the impact on tourism.
The report, by the head of planning, will go to Dorset County Council’s regulatory committee on Friday, September 5.
If committee members agree, it will then go to the examining authority by October 6 for consideration during the six-month examination of the Navitus Bay application.
The report states: “The developer has played down the adverse landscape and visual impact of the project in a highly sensitive setting.”
And it continues: “There is genuine public and business concern about the visual impact of the proposed wind park. Many feel that the photomontage visualisations accompanying the application do not represent the worst case scenario and therefore fail to provide a realistic indication of what the wind park may look like.”
The council also plans to ask the examining authority to consider the issues of bird migration, noise, the effect of turbines on the microclimate, the potential impacts of electromagnetic radiation and the impacts on recreational sailing and commercial fishing.
It is also set to ask the examining authority to test the developer’s assertion that the wind farm will provide 970 MW of power.
The developers say it will generate enough low carbon electricity to power around 710,000 homes, offsetting approximately 1,290,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
But the 650ft-tall turbines will be just 14.5 miles from Lymington and less than 12 miles from Milford on Sea.
As reported by the Daily Echo, The New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) has also hit out at the visual impact of the turbines.