CHRISTCHURCH councillors have spoken out against the planned Navitus Bay wind farm.

Although it is not yet possible for the council itself to offer an opinion on the site, individuals sitting on the Community Services Committee have condemned the controversial proposals.

If accepted, the park could see as many as 194 turbines up to 200 metres high off the Dorset coastline, 12 miles from Christchurch.

Navitus Bay Development Ltd submitted its application for the park to the Planning Inspectorate earlier this month.

The Government is now considering the application to make sure it is valid.

James Hassett, head of growth and economy for Christchurch Borough Council, called the proposals a “relatively contentious issue”, but said as yet the council’s opinions cannot be considered.

“We are not being asked whether we are for or against it – we are asked to respond to the adequacy of the consultation and the local impact report currently,” he said.

But Cllr Colin Bungay said: “I have asked [Navitus Bay Development Ltd] several times about the effect of a ‘mini climate change’. This has happened in Scandinavian countries, and it is horrendous, but fortunately over there, the wind farms are generally in uninhabited areas.

“You can imagine the effect on our tourism industry if we were to have cloud and rain for a good part of the summer.”

Cllr David Jones added: “We have to go through the process – if we don’t, our objections won’t count.”

Members of the committee voted unanimously to note the planning process and agree that submissions from protest groups Challenge Navitus and the Poole and Christchurch Bays Association are to be attached to the council’s responses but no endorsement is either made or implied.