The Navitus Bay offshore wind farm could have a negative impact on the protected area of Dorset and East Devon Coast (Jurassic Coast), which is England’s only natural world heritage site.
UNESCO’s International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has examined the case and concluded that the development of the Navitus Bay Wind Park interferes with the conservation of the World Heritage property "Dorset and East Devon Coast".
Director of UNESCO's World Heritage Centre, Kishore Rao, has written a letter to the UK Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), accompanied by the IUCN’s findings: “We trust that these comments can be taken into account by the competent authorities in their forthcoming decisions regarding the project.”
Among several of its findings, IUCN stressed that the offshore wind farm will have a negative impact on the site’s setting: “The Project would replace the Isle of Wight as the dominant feature on the horizon.”
“Specifically, the property will change from being located in a natural setting that is largely free from human-made structures to one where its setting is dominated by human-made structures,” the IUCN concluded.
The IUCN reviewed the offshore wind project in relation to the protected site, after the project’s planning application had been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate. The Jurassic Coast was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001.
Offshore WIND Staff, May 26, 2014; Image: navitusbaywindpark