Dorset

Candidates clash over Navitus Bay south coast wind farm

L-R: Robin Grey, Simon Bowkett, Vikki Slade and Simon Hoare
Image caption The candidates met voters at the public debate in Poundbury, near Dorchester

Parliamentary candidates have clashed over a planned wind farm off the south coast during a public debate in Dorset.

The 194 turbines would be visible from Dorset, Hampshire and Isle of Wight.

On BBC TV's Sunday Politics, Labour's Simon Bowkett and Liberal Democrat Vikki Slade argued in favour of the scheme against UKIP's Robin Grey and Conservative Simon Hoare.

They were responding to a question by Angela Pooley of Friends of the Earth about cutting the use of fossil fuels.

A decision on the Navitus Bay scheme is expected by the autumn.

'Crisis facing mankind'

Mr Bowkett, Labour candidate for South Dorset, said: "The principle of developing renewables in this part of the world is important, not just from the climate change perspective but... delivering more jobs and better jobs for this area.

"When we left power in 2010, we would import 27% of the raw materials needed for power generation in this country. It's now over 40%."

Mr Hoare, Conservative candidate for Dorset North, said: "I think, in the county, we are very good because we have hit our county targets for renewables. I think we need to have far more focus on saving energy rather than how it is generated."

Ms Slade, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mid Dorset and North Poole, said: "The reality is that we have got to stop extracting fossil fuels from this planet.

"We are going to run out. We are going to devastate our futures for our children, our grandchildren and our planet. That is the biggest crisis facing the whole of mankind."

Mr Grey, UKIP candidate for Christchurch, said: "It's going to decimate our beautiful countryside. They are going to build a 40m-wide trench from where it comes into land at Mudeford right up to Mannington."

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