“Very bad news” for local tourism

A Swanage councillor says a proposed offshore wind farm is “very bad news” for local tourism.

Mayor of Swanage and local county councillor Bill Trite said: “studies that have been done so far suggest that there would be a reduction in tourism, and that is very bad news for the tourism industry.”

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Councillor Trite also said: “Even if the reduction is as small as 3 or 4 per cent, that translates as two, three hundred jobs, and when many businesses are teetering on the brink that can be critical.”

But green campaigner Andrew Butler described Trite’s argument as “disingenuous”, claiming: “People don’t come here to squint out to the horizon. They come here for the beach, they come here for the bars and pubs.”

Butler also said: “We’ve got so much going on for us in terms of our coastline, in terms of our natural beauty. I think people are still going to be coming here for the beautiful beaches and for the nice weather.”

Plans for Navitus Bay wind farm were unveiled by Eneco and UK company, EDF Energy last April, and, once complete, its designers claim it will be power over 775,000 homes.

But some local response to the plans has not been positive with residents creating protest group Challenge Navitus and organising a demonstration in Swanage earlier this month.

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[/one_half] After consultation with local communities, Navitus Bay designers announced in December a reduction in size of the wind farm, but opponents have described the changes as “not significant.”

Project director Mike Unsworth said: “Navitus Bay takes its engagement with local communities extremely seriously and is committed to using feedback received from the community to help shape the proposals.”

Feature image: Harvey Mc Daniel, Wiki Commons

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