PLANS for a wind farm off the Dorset coast might be the biggest issue to face local people in a generation.

So it’s no wonder that hundreds turned out on a cold Sunday morning to make their views known.

One thing seemed to unite most of the people in Swanage yesterday. They were not against renewable energy, or even, necessarily, wind farms.

But opponents of the scheme have very real concerns that the plans could change Dorset for the worse.

The country needs to exploit new energy sources unless we want to build ever more old-style power stations. But we should all be concerned that this particular scheme could interfere with perhaps the most precious asset Dorset has – the spectacular beauty of its coastline.

Spoil that coastline and you jeopardise the tourism industry that underpins the entire local economy.

And that is a gamble we cannot afford to take.