THE Navitus Bay wind farm is set to be rejected by ministers, according to a national newspaper.

The article, in the Daily Telegraph today, claims that the Planning Inspectorate has recommended the scheme for Poole Bay be refused, and that ministers, who are expected to make the final decision next week, are "poised to reject the plans".

Both Bournemouth MPs - Conor Burns for Bournemouth West and Tobias Ellwood for Bournemouth East - and local authorities in Bournemouth and Poole have opposed the project, claiming it presents a threat to the UNESCO World Heritage Site status of the Jurassic Coast, as well as to tourism.

The article today suggests that the former consideration may guide the government's decision-making process.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Mr Burns said he was unaware of the Inspectorate's recommendation, which will not be published until the decision is made.

"I remain cautiously optimistic that it will be rejected," he said.

"I don't think the Telegraph would have published that story if they couldn't stand it up.

"Yesterday I delivered a letter to energy minister Lord Bourne encapsulating the arguments we have been making.

"We have never argued against the principle of renewable energy or wind, just this specific proposal in this specific location."

Mr Burns said he believed some ministers had been "frightened" at the prospect of the Jurassic Coast losing its World Heritage Site status.

"More people have registered with the Planning Inspctorate to voice their objections than for any other application," he added.

Mr Ellwood said: "I would urge caution, I am not sure where this information is coming from.

"The decision will have to be made by the minister next week.

"Clearly, if true, this is a testament to the efforts, not just of political forces but most importantly of residents, to make a compelling case to protect Bournemouth from what is an inappropriate development."

Mr Ellwood said a refusal would likely spell the end of attempts to build an offshore wind farm in the bay.

The Navitus Bay project is a joint effort by energy companies EDF and Eneco, and comprises up to 121 turbines, up to 200 metres high. The Navitus Bay Development Company submitted a smaller proposal alongside its main application, but the paper claims this will be rejected as well.

If rejected, Navitus would be only the second major offshore wind proposal rejected in the UK, after the Docking Shoal wind farm, located off the Lincolnshire coastline, was rejected in 2012 over fears it would affect local birdlife.

Bournemouth Council leader John Beesley said: “The scale of public reaction to EDF and Eneco’s Navitus Bay proposals to industrialise and irrevocably damage the outstandingly beautiful and natural Dorset coast has been unprecedented.

"It is hoped that the final decision will give significant weight to these fundamental concerns.

“The environmental degradation and risk to the setting of the World Heritage status of the Jurassic Coast would have a very negative and long term impact on the area.

"Evidence has shown that there would be substantial economic damage to tourism and that business confidence would be significantly undermined.

"Bournemouth Council very much hopes that the extensive and detailed planning process has listened to the views of the thousands of interested parties who were keen to protect the natural environment for future generations and that the Secretary of State reaches the same conclusion by rejecting the Navitus Bay proposals.”

The future of the project now rests with the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which is due to decide by September 11.