Clare Moody, Labour MEP for the South West & Gibraltar, has expressed her deep disappointment at the Government’s decision to reject the Navitus Bay wind-farm and the consequent loss of renewably generated energy and loss of secure, good quality jobs for the area. The decision makes Navitus Bay only the second offshore wind-farm in the country to be rejected.
Despite some loud opposition, polling showed that a majority of residents living near the development were in favour and that it was a small, but vocal, minority who opposed it.
Speaking after the announcement, Ms Moody said;
“This is incredibly disappointing news for the area. Not only will the UK be missing out on this important energy source but the development had enormous potential to bring hundreds of well-paid, highly-skilled jobs to an area that is dominated by low-pay.
This decision means the UK is more reliant on non-renewable energy sources, including gas and oil from unstable countries overseas. At a time when instability in Eastern Europe and the Middle East raises questions about the security of our energy, we need an alternative. Unfortunately, the alternative that the government appears to want to pursue is fracking. This will cause far more damage to our countryside than wind turbines, and we have already seen that many Dorset sites have been earmarked for consideration.
I am a proud champion of renewable energy projects across the South West and recognise the enormous benefits they can bring to our region, not only in terms of energy supply but also the highly-skilled jobs they create. Over the summer I visited the Port of Poole and Portland Port, which would have benefitted massively from this development, creating jobs for hundreds of people. Additionally a turbine manufacturer on the Isle of Wight had already been chosen as a supplier and they will now miss out.
This appears to be a politically motivated decision, I’ve seen no evidence that the areas World Heritage Status would be at risk or would cause a negative effect on tourism in the area. Instead, environmental groups such as East Dorset Friends of the Earth have been in favour of the development. The biggest threat to our beautiful coastline isn’t from off-shore wind turbines but is from climate change, which we have already seen have a devastating impact on the South West coast line through serious storm damage. This decision is short-sighted and will only make the problem worse in the long-term.
It’s disappointing that the government aren't standing up for people who need this development but are caving in to those who shout the loudest.”