Unesco concerns over wind farm plans

By Martin Neville

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

 

IMPORTANT views of the Isle of Wight from the Jurassic Coast would be adversely affected by the controversial £3 billion Navitus Bay wind farm, according to the World Heritage organisation.

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has raised serious concerns about plans for Britain’s largest offshore windfarm, fearing its construction off Dorset’s Jurassic Coast will compromise views from the World Heritage site.

A study from the body’s scientific arm, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), said the project would have a significant impact on the natural setting of the site, including views towards the Isle of Wight.

It said the turbines would replace the Isle of Wight as the dominant feature on the horizon.

The Jurassic Coast, where up to 194 turbines with a maximum tip height of 200m could be constructed offshore, became a Unesco World Heritage site in 2001.

Unesco, which designates World Heritage status, has not elaborated on what would happen with regard to the Jurassic Coast’s World Heritage status should the application become a reality as it is.

But the IUCN report concluded: "The completion of the project would result in the property (the Jurassic Coast) being presented and transmitted to future generations in a form that is significantly different from what was there at the time of inscription and until today.

"Specifically, the property will change from being located in a natural setting that is largely free from human-made structures to one where its setting is dominated by human-made structures."

Campaign group Challenge Navitus highlighted that a similar situation relating to Mont St Michel in France resulted in the French government excluding wind farms from the region.

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