A PROPOSED windfarm off the Dorset coast could generate high levels of noise and have a severe impact on local wildlife.
That was the message from representatives of Poole and Christchurch Bays Association (PCBA), who addressed Bournemouth Borough Council's Environment and Transport Overview and Scrutiny panel and members of the public at a special meeting this evening.
Navitus Bay Development Ltd is due to submit a development consent order to the Planning Inspectorate today to build a farm including up to 194 turbines, as high as 200m.
Last night representatives from PCBA warned noise from the farm could damage people's health and could harm migratory birds.
Acoustic expert, John Yelland, said once operational the sound from the turbines would reflect on the water and could reach Bournemouth at about 40 decibels.
“Onshore windfarms are usually built on soft, porous farmland, which absorbs most of the sound,” he said.
Representatives from the group also discussed fears over the potential of birds colliding with the machines and branded the developers' wildlife assessment as “inadequate”.
Roy Pointer, chair of PCBA, said: “We have six main concerns.”
“As well as the two we have talked about today, we are worried about the visual impact, the potential impact on the Unesco World Heritage Site, the drastic impact on tourism, confirmed by the developers' own finds, and the impact on one of the busiest commercial and recreational navigational areas in the country.”
At the end of the meeting the panel agreed that more investigation was needed to assess the potential impact of the wind farm regarding noise and wildlife.
Chair of the panel, councillor Mark Anderson: “Some things that came out tonight I was quite amazed by. I really didn't know anything about the noise. I have had residents talking to me about it but I wasn't expecting that sort of information.”
Cllr Anderson advised anyone who would like to make comments regarding the proposed wind farm to contact their local councillor.
The proposed development would be 12 miles from Christchurch, 13 miles from Bournemouth and Poole and nine miles from Swanage.
A public meeting to discuss the plans is being held at the BIC on Saturday May 10.