Dorset MP slams Navitus Bay wind farm plans as ‘Orwellian doublespeak’
Official justification for building one of the world’s biggest wind farms in Dorset near the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site has been described as Orwellian “doublespeak” by a Conservative MP.
Dutch firm Eneco Wind UK is behind the £3.5 billion Navitus Bay Wind Park with French state generator EDF. It would see 218 turbines built off the Dorset and Devon coast.
The developer is conducting a round of consultations on the project, which has already seen the maximum number of turbines scaled back from 333 and the maximum height of the turbines reduced from 210m (690ft) to 200m (655ft).
The criticism from Dorset Tory Richard Drax comes as conservationists and landscape campaigners nervously await a decision by the Planning Inspectorate on the Atlantic Array, a similar scheme for 240 turbines in the Bristol Channel which will be visible from the north Devon coast.
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Mr Drax has written to the Navitus Bay developers listing his objections and demanding a change of site, claiming 99 per cent of those attending meetings oppose the facility.
He claims the power plant will be an “eyesore plonked in the middle of our Jurassic Coast”, the equivalent of putting a wind farm on the Great Barrier Reef – another Unesco World Heritage Site.
“In France, Unesco prevented EDF from building two turbines near Mont St Michel by creating an exclusion zone,” he added. “I have written to Unesco and am hoping it will do the same for us.”
Eneco has said the wind farm would create jobs and provide green electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes. It said the turbines would be at least 12 miles out to sea and has pledged to listen to public opinion.
Mr Drax is scathing about the environmental impact assessment report, which, he says, treats all objections as though they were mere obstacles to be overcome.
“The description of residents of South Dorset as ‘primary visual receptors’ because they are the people who will be forced to look at the thing every day defies belief,” he said. “They actually suggest that some of the negative visual impact of the wind farm will be ‘mitigated’ for cyclists and sailors because their attention will be partly occupied by the cycling or sailing.
“Who thinks up this stuff? It’s like the doublethink in George Orwell’s 1984.”
The consultation period ends on October 10 and the developers are expected to submit a planning application next year.