DORSET county councillors have labelled the controversial Navitus Bay wind farm plan as having ‘more holes than a good piece of Swiss cheese’.

Planning committee members agreed unanimously to a holding response which will be sent to Navitus Bay Development Limited (NBDL) by today’s deadline.

But many said the response doesn’t go far enough. Speaking at the County Hall meeting yesterday, ward councillor for Burton Grange David Jones said he objected to the ‘giant bird mincers’.

He said that although something needs to be done to generate power, the NBDL plan is ‘full of false assumptions’ and would have a huge impact on tourism, wildlife and landscape.

The councillors were not at the meeting to object to the plan, as the final decision will be made by the Planning Inspectorate.

But it was the county council’s last chance to express its views until at least March next year, when NBDL is required to submit a Development Consent Order.

The report they considered included a summary of findings by consultants asked to advise on the technical aspects of the seascape and landscape visual impact assessment.

They looked at images provided by NBDL and Challenge Navitus, who are against the wind farm and spoke at the planning meeting.

Consultants commissioned by the county council expressed ‘disappointment’ in a report to the committee that NBDL would not submit 70mm or 75mm focal length single frame printed images that would provide a clearer picture of what the development would look like.

They said the wind farm could not be sited entirely out of site within the development boundary.

Chairman of the meeting Cllr Mike Lovell said he would propose the recommendation because of the impact on rare birds and bats that use the channel between Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

He said: “I am afraid that we are going to lose a lot of them, and a lot of them are rare species.

“We can’t afford to have any of them chopped up by wind turbines.”

Council chairman speaks at Navitus Bay meeting

PURBECK District Council chairman Bill Trite was just one of many dissenting voices who spoke during a meeting on the Navitus Bay Wind Farm application.

The district council’s planning board convened, yesterday, to provide the authority’s formal response to Navitus Bay Development Limited’s (NBDL) latest environmental statement.

Cllr Trite told planning committee members that during NBDL’s exhibition the company had confirmed 86 per cent of Swanage visitors said their visits would not be affected if there was a wind farm offshore.

“That means 14 per cent could or would be affected by such a wind farm,” said the former Swanage mayor.

“That 14 per cent is a huge number, that is more than enough to tip many businesses over the edge into failure in Swanage.

“The visual impact of what is a broad industrial vista is very great and entirely adverse, and that goes for night as well as by day.”