EAST Dorset Friends of the Earth were extremely disappointed to read the comments from Cllr Mike Greene (Daily Echo, Oct 11) about offshore windfarms.

A number of his comments appear to be factually incorrect or based upon an outdated understanding of the issue.

- He has said that windfarms would have 'a truly devastating impact on the tourism sector'. The inspector's report into the Navitus Bay proposal stated quite clearly in its conclusions that 'the overall impacts on tourism across the area as a whole are not significant', and specifically not in BCP.

- The inspector also concluded that a windfarm 'would bring employment and supply chain benefits to the Dorset area and should weigh in favour of the project'. This conclusion can only have been strengthened by the growth of wind energy since 2015. The economy of BCP is in danger of missing out on this boom!

- There is no evidence that windfarms 'are likely to damage the economy of an area that depends on tourism' . The largest offshore windfarm on the south coast (Rampion) sits off Brighton and Worthing. Tourism in these areas has not suffered, quite the reverse, the wind turbines have become an attraction for boat trips.

- The experience over this summer of five large cruise ships on the horizon of Poole Bay has had no impact on tourism, indeed, on occasion, BCP beaches have been incapable of coping with the pressure of tourists. There is no evidence that the visual impact of well-sited windfarms deters tourism.

- East Dorset Friends of the Earth has publicly stated that the visitor questionnaire carried out by the council, to which Cllr Greene refers, was poorly designed, and its results were of dubious validity. Its sample was too small and not representative, it involved leading questions, and it was not independent.

- In December Cllr Greene voted for the BCP Draft Action Plan on the Climate and Ecological Emergency. This committed BCP Council to 'investigate options to offer residents renewable electricity' and to 'seek to identify and consider purchase of sites for large-scale renewable energy installations'. Perhaps he could explain how, as portfolio holder for transport and sustainability, he proposes that BCP is able to meet these commitments without an offshore windfarm?

Sadly, it would appear that Cllr Green is determined to maintain his minority views in spite of the facts, and of the strong public opinion in favour of wind farms, and the cheap, clean electricity they provide.

This stubbornness can only work to the detriment of the local economy.


East Dorset Friends of the Earth