Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Irish sea wind farm plans 'misleading' claim

Claims a wind farm development in Cumbria will not affect Manx shipping routes are "misleading", ferry operators have said.

Danish company DONG Energy said a proposed 200-turbine extension would not present any shipping problems

But Steam Packet company Chief Mark Woodward believes it would affect the alternative routes used in bad weather.

The Walney offshore wind farm is situated 9.3 miles (15km) west of Barrow-in-Furness.

Mr Woodward said in strong winds, crossings are rarely cancelled as the ship's crew take alternative routes and navigate through the bad weather.

"With a proliferation of wind farms, the Master may not have the ability to weather route," he said.

The Manx government is currently in talks with both developers and UK regulators about the potential impact. If the plans are approved, it is thought work could get under way in 2016.

A spokesman for DONG Energy said: "In isolation, the proposed Walney Extension will not impact ferry routes to and from the Isle of Man.

"It is also important to make it clear to people who use the ferry to travel to and from the Isle of Man that some of the proposed developments in the Irish Sea are at a very early stage."

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