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Protesters fighting wind farm plans will link hands along Swanage seafront
PROTESTERS will link hands along Swanage seafront in a bid to stop a wind farm being built out to sea.
Navitus Bay, a venture by Dutch Firm Eneco and French power company EDF Energy, has scaled back its plans but that has not been enough to silence opposition, including chief of Bournemouth Tourism Mark Smith.
The new proposals are for the park to be sited 12 miles from Bournemouth rather than 10 with a maximum of 218 turbines instead of 333.
But Swanage resident Charlie Sanderson has set up the protest outside the Mowlem theatre at 11am on Sunday, January 13.
She said: “There are grave concerns over the visual, environmental and economic damage to England’s Jurassic Coast and the whole of the region.”
Mrs Sanderson is concerned about the “visual damage” and fears for “thousands of tourist related jobs”.
She also cites the threat to birds, marine life and the sea bed, as well as seafarers.
South Dorset MP Richard Drax will join the protest and Swanage Mayor Bill Trite is calling on residents to join in like him.
“It’s something that is of great concern to Swanage,” said Cllr Trite.
“The changes are not significant and I would encourage everybody to go along and make their views clear.”
Navitus Bay plans to present new information, including what it says will be improved photomontages of what the wind farm will look like, at a string of fresh public consultations to be announced soon.
Project director Mike Unsworth has said that the formal socio-economic assessment will be completed in the first half of 2013.
Last month, opposition group Challenge Navitus said the changes to the plans were “minor” and would make little difference – it called for the wind farm to be at least 14 miles out to sea in line with government guidance.