Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man travel watchdog criticises windfarm proposals

An Isle of Man watchdog has criticised proposals for a windfarm development, 12 miles (19km) off the Manx coastline.

TravelWatch claims the move would disrupt ferry routes, causing longer journey times and higher fares.

Energy company Centrica PLC was awarded wind farm development rights for the Irish Sea zone, in January 2010.

A company spokesman said: "Feedback is extremely important to us and we welcome the opportunity to meet with Travelwatch IoM to discuss concerns."

He added: "However, we must emphasise that the proposed offshore windfarm development is at an extremely early stage.

"We will carry out detailed stakeholder consultation prior to submitting proposals."

An update on the windfarm project, which would be situated outside of Manx territorial waters, is expected in the next few weeks.

Isle of Man ferry operators, the Steam Packet company, said: "Our original concerns have been echoed independently by Travelwatch in its own press release. These concerns have been raised with the various windfarm developers via a number of forums in the past where we feel have they have at best been trivialised and at worst simply ignored."

Centrica PLC recently held a series of public meetings on the Isle of Man outlining its proposals.

Although the development rights were initially awarded to Centrica, the firm has now entered into an agreement with Dong Energy and the name of the joint venture which will take the plans forward, is Celtic Array.

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