Wind farm impact underplayed, Isle of Wight Council officers claim

By Martin Neville

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

 

Wind farm impact underplayed, Isle of Wight Council officers claim

A Navitus Bay image of how they claim the turbines will look.

NAVITUS Bay developers have "underplayed" the impact the offshore wind farm would have on the Island’s renowned sea and landscapes, according to Isle of Wight Council officers.

A report on controversial £3 billion proposals to build up to 194 wind turbines around 11 miles off the south-west coast of the Isle of Wight is to be considered by the authority’s planning committee next Tuesday.

The planning application is with the Planning Inspectorate, which will make the final decision following consultation with bodies including the Isle of Wight Council.

The officer report said while the council recognised the significant amount of clean renewable energy the development would generate, the visual impact from parts of the Island’s coastline would be significant and negative.

These included seascapes between St Catherine’s Point and the Needles, as well as the chalk downs — designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and heritage coast.

However, the report added the development could deliver significant economic benefits to the Island, including jobs and work for local companies and recommends the committee does not object to the scheme but requests more information on noise and the potential impact on ecology, including migratory birds and seabirds.

As previously reported, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has raised serious concerns the wind farm could compromise views of the Island from Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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