Windfarm protest support swells - but pro-turbine campaigners will be there too (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Windfarm protest support swells - but pro-turbine campaigners will be there too
The Navitus Bay wind farm, a joint venture by Dutch firm Eneco and French power company EDF Energy, could include up to 218 turbines.
Wind farm bosses scaled down the number of turbines, from a maximum 333, in December. However, each could still tower up to 200m - almost four times the height of Nelson's Column.
Sunday's protest, organised by Swanage couple Mike and Charlie Sanderson, will be attended by South Dorset MP Richard Drax and Swanage mayor Bill Trite.
Campaigners meet at the Mowlem Theatre at 10am, with the protest taking place an hour later.
Local pro-green energy groups are also expected to gather on Swanage seafront to indicate their support for “the principle of developing a wind power scheme off the Dorset coast.”
Mrs Sanderson told the Daily Echo: “These people are entitled to their views as well. I don't see it being a problem for us.
“At first we thought there would only be quite a small crowd joining us, but things have just got bigger and bigger. We think there will be quite a large number of people attending, but a lot depends on the weather.
“Anyone who feels strongly about the location of the Navitus Bay wind farm, I would ask them to come along on Sunday and join us. It is important they also write to the company, because Navitus Bay has changed the numbers and location of the farm so now it is a new application.”
As well as cutting back turbine numbers, Navitus Bay has also announced the proposed site will be further out to sea.
If permitted, the park will be 12 miles from Bournemouth rather than 10, and 9.1 miles from Swanage rather than eight.
Mike Unsworth, project director for Navitus Bay Development Limited, said: “We feel that these significant adjustments to the plans strike a good balance between responses that we have had from consultees and the technical viability from an environmental, engineering, shipping and commercial perspective.”
Opponents fear the offshore plant will jeopardise tourism, harm marine wildlife and hamper shipping.
Meanwhile, East Dorset Friends of the Earth spokesman Martin Price, who will be among Sunday's pro-wind farm demonstrators, said: “We feel that too many alarmist claims are being made about the possible impacts of the Navitus Bay wind farm proposal.
“Climate change is already happening and poses a greater threat to the Dorset/Hampshire environment than a few wind turbines.”