The National Trust has announced its opposition to the proposed Navitus Bay Wind Park because of its impact on the sensitive coastlines of East Dorset and the Isle of Wight.
Ian Wilson, the National Trust Assistant Director of Operations said they had made clear to Navitus Bay Development Ltd that the Trust was opposed to the scheme and that much more could be done to mitigate the impacts if the development were to obtain consent.
He said: “We are committed to renewable energy that works in the location it is built. We believe strongly in the need to grow renewable energy generation and wean ourselves off fossil fuels, but it has to be in the right place at the right scale. We do not support the scale and location currently proposed by Navitus Bay Development Ltd and we do not believe there has been sufficient work by the developer on alternatives.
“Any development must mitigate the environmental impacts as much as possible and the Trust believes this is not currently the case which means the harm clearly outweighs the benefits.”
At present the development is just 6.95 nautical miles (8 miles) at its nearest point from Old Harry Rocks in Dorset and 7.3nm (8.4 miles) from the Needles on the Isle of Wight
“Our concern is that the Navitus Bay development would still be dominant when looking across between the Isle of Wight and Purbeck coastlines. Our coastal landscapes and seascapes are a valuable resource and part of our national heritage. The coast affected here is particularly valued for its uninterrupted seascapes” he added.
“The National Trust has a target to generate 50 per cent of our own energy from renewables by 2020, including wind where it is not too large for its setting. We’re trying to show how this can be done without putting at risk our beautiful natural and built heritage.”
The Trust has liaised with the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage management team to discuss the impact of the Navitus Bay development on the landscape along the coasts.