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Navitus Bay Set To Be Rejected

September 5, 2015

By Paul Homewood 

h/t Paul2 

 

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/windpower/11845747/Navitus-Bay-wind-farm-off-Jurassic-Coast-set-to-be-rejected.html

 

Good news from the Telegraph:

 

Plans for Britain’s most controversial offshore wind farm are set to be rejected amid fears it would jeopardise the UNESCO World Heritage Site status of the Jurassic Coast, the Telegraph understands.

Developers of the proposed Navitus Bay wind farm are seeking planning permission to build up to 121 turbines in the English Channel near the Isle of Wight.

A decision is expected next week and the Telegraph understands that ministers are poised to reject the plans, following what is believed to be an unprecedented recommendation by the Planning Inspectorate that permission should be refused.

The move would be a major victory for campaigners including local Conservative MPs, some of whom fought the election on their opposition to the wind farm, as well as local authorities and the National Trust.

Opponents have argued that the turbines, which would each be 650 feet tall, would ruin views, damage tourism and could result in the Jurassic Coast losing its UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

 

Jurassic Coast near LulworthThe Jurassic Coast’s World Heritage Site status could have been threatened by the turbines  Photo: © 2009 Olaf Protze

 

Earlier this year Sajid Javid, then culture secretary, took the unusual step of intervening, saying it would be a “tragedy” if the wind farm were to spoil the “staggering natural beauty” of the area.

Mr Javid wrote to the Planning Inspectorate highlighting that UNESCO’s advisory committee had concluded “the development would put the UK in breach of the World Heritage Convention were it to be built”.

To date the independent Planning Inspectorate has considered 10 major offshore wind farms and recommended they all go ahead – decisions that have all been confirmed by ministers.

The Inspectorate made its recommendation on the Navitus Bay project to the energy department in secret earlier this year and Lord Bourne, the energy minister, has until Friday to issue his decision.

 

Tennyson Down, Isle of Wight: walk of the weekTurbines would be visible from the Isle of Wight  Photo: National Trust/Sue Oldham

 

Conor Burns, MP for Bournemouth West and one of the leading opponents of the project, wrote to Lord Bourne ahead of the decision urging him to recognise the strength of local opposition to the project, with some 87 per cent of his constituents who responded to a survey opposed to the plan.

He said he believed that “offshore wind makes a very useful contribution to renewable energy generation” but that wind farms must be “in the ‘right’ place”. He warned that Navitus Bay could have a “devastating” impact on tourism.

Mark Smith, director of tourism at Bournemouth Borough Council, said rejection of Navitus Bay would help show that the Planning Inspectorate process was not merely “some sort of expensive charade”.

It is thought Navitus Bay would be only the second major offshore wind farm ever to be rejected planning permission in the UK.

The proposed Docking Shoal wind farm, which was decided under a previous planning regime, prior to the involvement of the Planning Inspectorate, was rejected by ministers in 2012 due to concerns it would kill too many seabirds.

Navitus Bay has attracted unprecedented controversy, with more objections lodged with the Planning Inspectorate than for any other offshore wind farm to date.

Its developers, EDF Energy and Eneco, submitted a ‘plan b’ scaled-back option last year involving fewer turbines but it is thought both plans will be rejected.

The National Trust had said that even the smaller proposal was unacceptable and it could not support proposals that would “seriously damage the beauty of our coastline”.

Asked about the project either this year, David Cameron said he understood why people felt so strongly about it, describing the area as “special” and “part of our heritage”.

The project’s developers say it could bring up to £1.6 billion in “economic benefit” to the local area and create up to 1,700 jobs during construction.

Stuart Grant, Project Director of Navitus Bay, said: “We believe in the strength of our proposal, which showcases how Navitus Bay would make an important contribution to the local economy and to the UK’s renewable energy and carbon reduction targets.”

5 Comments
  1. Graeme No.3 permalink
    September 5, 2015 12:00 pm

    Of the value of the Jurassic Coast I have no doubt, if only because of the increasing knowledge of Mary Anning and her part in palaeontology. More tourism will result.
    Of the value of “renewable energy” I have considerable doubts. If it would bring X amount of economic benefit to the region, how much benefit to the region would result if the same amount of the various subsidies were applied directly to the region?

  2. September 5, 2015 12:12 pm

    Hmm, some dodgy reasons being used to try and stop this thing. I hope it does get rejected, but for the right reason, why put a hugely inefficient and uncontrollable power station in the sea, to be paid for largely by already over-burdened bill payers.

    The Jurassic Coast and tourism arguments are pretty weak, the Jurassic Coast only really starts in Swanage and goes West, and how can the residents of Bournemouth/Poole complain when said towns already spoil the coastline with an uninterrupted line of hotels, apartment blocks and ice-cream shops.

    • steve permalink
      September 5, 2015 12:53 pm

      I think the reasons given are a smokescreen as the Govt cannot publicly admit to the project being too costly to build and even more costly to produce electricity without bringing into question the decision to give the go ahead on other similar projects. Following the election and the demise of the Lib Dems it is becoming clearer by the day that Govt policy is rapidly backtracking from the Hug a Husky agenda. As someone who lives in the area I am really pleased that common sense seems to be prevailing, I do agree with your comments re the tourism arguments being weak .

    • September 5, 2015 9:08 pm

      I gave evidence to the Examination by the Planning Inspectorate, covering such issues as the electricity that might be generated, the CO2 savings that might occur and the impact on the UK economy rather than on the local economy. The developer did not put forward any evidence to refute my evidence (because he didn’t have any). The unacceptable noise impact was another issue for which irrefutable evidence was provided, but that also won’t figure amongst the reasons for refusal. However I am sure my irrefutable evidence and the noise evidence will not be amongst those reasons that the Government will refuse the wind farm, because if the Government accepted that evidence, it would be admitting that wind power is a massive scam which is causing massive problems for out security of supply and increasing electricity costs. The Government won’t accept responsibility for the mess it has got us into.

      The Government will refuse permission on some pretext, probably because of the unacceptable impact on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, The New Forest National Park and on tourism.

      Those are my predictions. We will see next week.

  3. September 5, 2015 12:37 pm

    Whilst I am glad that Navitus will be scrapped, we on the Isle of Wight are still facing a decision from the MMO which may approve the erection of tidal turbines off our south coast. It will affect the migration of brown crabs, sea birds and ruin the beauty of our coastal heritage.
    Although Siemens have scrapped their tidal programs and UK tidal energy is “dead in the water” two Island entrepreneurs with no experience in the industry have persuaded the gullible IOW Council to invest millions in a time when we are in danger of bankruptcy. One of these individuals has boasted he stands to make a fortune. They promise energy for 150,000 homes and 600 jobs which is ludicrous.
    The IOW Council acting as judge and jury gave planning approval to the erection of an industrial sub station and turbine room to service the turbines – this on a coastal meadow in a quiet suburban area.
    Unlike the Jurassic Coast, we can’t attract support from ministers et al but we would welcome any support from adherents of this wonderful website

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