A RETIRED research scientist says he can prove that the wind turbines planned for the Dorset coast will appear substantially taller than has been shown.

Alan Heasman, 68, from Westbourne, has challenged the photomontages used by Navitus Bay Development Ltd (NBDL) at its public exhibitions earlier this month.

He has pledged to hand over £100 to charity if he is proved wrong.

NBDL’s plans would see a maximum of 218 turbines placed 12 miles away from Bournemouth.

Mr Heasman, who also worked as a senior industrial manager, said he used simple geometry and based his calculations on the maximum height that could be installed, 200m.

He said: “If you stand at the point on Hengistbury Head where their photograph was taken, you are the same distance from Tennyson Down behind The Needles, Isle of Wight, as you are from the 200m turbines in the front row of the wind farm – 10.4 miles.

“Navitus’ photomontage shows the 200m turbines as being only very slightly higher than Tennyson Down, which is 147m on the Ordnance Survey map.

“This is visually impossible. Using my own accurate measurements, the 200m turbines on the Hengistbury Head photomontage are 30.7 per cent undersized.

“This is a substantial difference and, on this basis, I have made a formal complaint to Navitus as the visual impact portrayed will grossly mislead the public.”

He said that standing anywhere between Hengistbury Head and Bournemouth Pier an onlooker would be equidistant from Tennyson Down and a 200m turbine at the front of the proposed wind farm.

Alan, who is not a member of any group for or against the wind farm, added: “As the human eye is also attracted to movement, they will totally dominate the seascape and they will certainly not be a speck on the horizon, as some people believe.”

In a statement, NBDL said its photomontages had been produced by independent firm LDA Design and adhered to Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) methodology.

It added: “SNH guidance provides detailed advice on photography and its use in the preparation of visual material, including material associated with wind park developments. Its methodology is endorsed by the Landscape Institute, the Royal Chartered body for landscape architects, and represents best practice for the wind power industry.

“Navitus Bay has met with Mr Heasman at several of its recent public exhibitions and has openly discussed the visuals of the project and his specific concerns.

“Mr Heasman has formally written to Navitus Bay on this subject and we shall provide a detailed response in due course.”

THE turbines are:
20 metres taller than the Gherkin in London
One and a half times the height of London Eye
30 metres taller than the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth
77 metres taller than the spire on Salisbury Cathedral – the tallest church spire in the UK

HD videos of site on the internet

OPPOSITION group Challenge Navitus has published new HD videos on its website of the Navitus Bay wind farm proposal on its website for HD televisions and high-resolution computer monitors.

Andrew Langley, a co-founder of Challenge Navitus, who computed the simulations, said: “We are always trying to bring the very best pictures of the wind farm to the public’s attention.

“These HD videos give an even more immersive experience than before. The new videos are suitable only for displays with at least 1920x1080 pixels, and you will need a fast internet connection, but the results are stunning. If the user feedback is positive, we will add more.”