THE firm behind the proposed Navitus Bay wind farm have responded to a council report which said the development could cost Bournemouth £100 million a year if it gets the go-ahead.

The authority also says that around 2,000 jobs could be at risk should the scheme go ahead.

Mike Unsworth, Navitus Bay Project Director, said: “While we welcome Bournemouth Council considering and taking a view on the proposed Navitus Bay Wind Park development, some of its concerns are unfounded or misplaced.

“We simply do not recognise their figure that the wind park will cost the local tourism industry £100 million per year. The Council have based this figure on one statistic from our tourism survey, but it is misleading to view this data in isolation and to then extrapolate in this way. Indeed, overall, the tourism survey found that the wind park will not have a significantly adverse impact on tourism.

“This is supported by evidence collected from coastal locations near existing offshore wind parks. In fact, the turbines have often boosted tourism in a number of locations, including Great Yarmouth, where a dedicated visitor centre attracts tourists interested in finding out about offshore wind energy generation. Llandudno which has three offshore wind projects located in the region, also came 8th in the 2014 Trip Advisor awards for the UK’s best tourist destination.

“More broadly, independent assessments show the project has the potential to add significant economic value to the region of up to £1.62bn, as well as create a minimum of 1700 jobs.

“We appreciate that some people have genuine concerns when it comes to the project, but we stand by the credibility of our planning application.”