The 8MW wind turbine made by MHI Vestas was due to be used in the Navitus Bay project

Jurassic windfarm to be rejected due to UNESCO concerns

UK government ministers will reject a windfarm project as it would jeopardise the UNESCO World Heritage Site status of the UK's Jurassic Coast, according to reports.

Eneco Wind and EDF Energy have applied to erect 121 wind turbines off the Hampshire coast near the Isle of Wight, with the aim of delivering up to 970MW - enough to power 700,000 homes.

But The Telegraph newspaper said that "ministers are poised to reject the plans" following a recommendation to do so by a planning inspectorate, amidst a background of opposition from local MPs, councils and the National Trust.

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman confirmed a decision was due by the end of this week, but added: "We cannot comment on planning decisions until they have been announced."

The project was due to feature the world's most powerful wind turbine, an 8MW model made by MHI Vestas, a joint venture between Denmark's Vestas Wind Systems and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which was chosen as the preferred turbine supplier for the Navitus Bay project.

A spokesman for MHI Vestas said the company would not comment on speculation and the project developers were not immediately available for comments.

Opponents of the scheme have argued that the 220m tall turbines would ruin views from the coast, potentially damage tourism and threaten the UNESCO World Heritage Site status off the Jurassic Coast.

The developers claim that the project could create up to 1,700 jobs during construction and bring up to £1.6bn in economic benefit, but it has also attracted the most objections lodged with the Planning Inspectorate of any offshore wind farm to date.

If it is turned down by the ministers, the Telegraph claims it would be only the second major offshore wind farm ever to be refused planning permission.

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