Navitus Bay: Wind farm 'will damage Bournemouth tourism'

Navitus Bay area The wind park located off the Hampshire and Dorset coast would be visible from Bournemouth

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A proposed offshore wind farm will have a "huge negative impact" on tourism, residents and the environment, Bournemouth council said.

The Navitus Bay wind farm off the Hampshire and Dorset coast would have 194 turbines up to 200m (650ft) high.

A council impact report said the "income from the wind farm would be outweighed by a substantial loss to the tourist trade and local economy".

Navitus Bay said the farm would not have a significant impact on tourism.

According to the report, Bournemouth would see a 32% drop in visitors during the construction phase.

The council also said that Navitus Bay's own investigations had concluded there would be a 14% long-term drop in visitor numbers.

Water quality concern

Council leader John Beesley said: "Residents who attended our public meeting told us they are opposed to this wind farm, and now the report clearly shows that this proposal is bad for Bournemouth.

"The unequivocal evidence is that it will have a huge negative impact on our tourism economy, our residents and our environment.

"The beauty of the natural environment, and in particular the view from Bournemouth's cliffs and seafront is the main attraction for visitors to Bournemouth.

"Any degree of industrialisation on this would have a negative impact on the resort."

The report also raised concerns about water quality, wildlife and noise and vibrations transmitted across the water.

Stuart Grant from Navitus Bay said it was "misleading and wrong to focus on single statistics".

"During the past five years, we have commissioned independent surveys, investigated other operational sites, and been advised by a variety of independent experts.

"The overall conclusion of this in-depth work was that the wind park will not have a significant impact on tourism in Dorset, Hampshire or Isle of Wight."

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