Navitus Bay won't do £2.5bn tourism damage

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Richard Heap
October 20, 2014
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Navitus Bay won't do £2.5bn tourism damage

Sun, sea and sandy beaches. Bournemouth has it all — but it is plans offshore that have recently attracted the greatest interest.

The Planning Inspectorate last week started examining plans for the 970MW Navitus Bay proposed by Eneco and EDF off the UK’s south coast. Yesterday was the deadline for written representations, and the inspectorate is due to close its examination in March. The final planning decision is scheduled for September 2015.

Quite understandably, a plan for what would be the world’s largest offshore wind farm has sparked fierce debate.

None of the arguments here are especially new, focusing on the concerns about visual impact. But we are seeing some big numbers being thrown around. The most interesting — and ludicrous — of them, is a figure of £2.5bn.

That is the amount of compensation that Bournemouth Council is set to seek if Navitus Bay gets the go ahead, according to its head of tourism. The figure is based on an assumption of £100m in lost visitor trade each year and then annualised over 25 years.

But why ludicrous? Simply, because we think the damage that an offshore wind farm could have on tourism in a coastal town 13 miles away is being grossly overstated.

It doesn’t help that the figure is based on spurious maths. It assumes that Bournemouth’s tourism sector was worth £503m in 2013, and that 20% of people surveyed by Eneco and EDF said they would be likely to visit somewhere else during construction.

Now, in isolation, neither of those figures looks wrong. The problem comes because too much has been extrapolated from them.

It seems clear to us that the £2.5bn is inaccurate. Construction is set to take five years, not 25, and this fact alone would adjust the original excitable figure down to £500m. That's £2bn saved.

But even £500m is too high. We just don't see why Bournemouth’s tourism sector would lose £100m a year during construction.

Visitors to the town won’t be confronted with bulldozers on the beach. They won’t be confronted with all that much given that the vast majority of activity will be handled by ports in Poole, Portland and Yarmouth – where, incidentally, jobs will be created.

If anything these jobs will help the local economy.

Let's be clear: Navitus Bay will have no impact on the fundamentals on the attractive seaside town. It doesn't affect the beaches, the ice creams, the sea or the sandcastles. It hasn't put off visitors to the beaches of north Norfolk with views of distant offshore wind farms, and there is no reason to think Bournemouth would be different.

At worst, it might affect the holiday plans of a few turbine-phobes. So what? There are plenty of others who would take their place.

Brits can enjoy a seaside holiday in the wind, the wet, and the cold. They won't be put off by a series of turbine dots on the horizon.

Sun, sea and sandy beaches. Bournemouth has it all — but it is plans offshore that have recently attracted the greatest interest.

The Planning Inspectorate last week started examining plans for the 970MW Navitus Bay proposed by Eneco and EDF off the UK’s south coast. Yesterday was the deadline for written representations, and the inspectorate is due to close its examination in March. The final planning decision is scheduled for September 2015.

Quite understandably, a plan for what would be the world’s largest offshore wind farm has sparked fierce debate.

None of the arguments here are especially new, focusing on the concerns about visual impact. But we are seeing some big numbers being thrown around. The most interesting — and ludicrous — of them, is a figure of £2.5bn.

That is the amount of compensation that Bournemouth Council is set to seek if Navitus Bay gets the go ahead, according to its head of tourism. The figure is based on an assumption of £100m in lost visitor trade each year and then annualised over 25 years.

But why ludicrous? Simply, because we think the damage that an offshore wind farm could have on tourism in a coastal town 13 miles away is being grossly overstated.

It doesn’t help that the figure is based on spurious maths. It assumes that Bournemouth’s tourism sector was worth £503m in 2013, and that 20% of people surveyed by Eneco and EDF said they would be likely to visit somewhere else during construction.

Now, in isolation, neither of those figures looks wrong. The problem comes because too much has been extrapolated from them.

It seems clear to us that the £2.5bn is inaccurate. Construction is set to take five years, not 25, and this fact alone would adjust the original excitable figure down to £500m. That's £2bn saved.

But even £500m is too high. We just don't see why Bournemouth’s tourism sector would lose £100m a year during construction.

Visitors to the town won’t be confronted with bulldozers on the beach. They won’t be confronted with all that much given that the vast majority of activity will be handled by ports in Poole, Portland and Yarmouth – where, incidentally, jobs will be created.

If anything these jobs will help the local economy.

Let's be clear: Navitus Bay will have no impact on the fundamentals on the attractive seaside town. It doesn't affect the beaches, the ice creams, the sea or the sandcastles. It hasn't put off visitors to the beaches of north Norfolk with views of distant offshore wind farms, and there is no reason to think Bournemouth would be different.

At worst, it might affect the holiday plans of a few turbine-phobes. So what? There are plenty of others who would take their place.

Brits can enjoy a seaside holiday in the wind, the wet, and the cold. They won't be put off by a series of turbine dots on the horizon.

Sun, sea and sandy beaches. Bournemouth has it all — but it is plans offshore that have recently attracted the greatest interest.

The Planning Inspectorate last week started examining plans for the 970MW Navitus Bay proposed by Eneco and EDF off the UK’s south coast. Yesterday was the deadline for written representations, and the inspectorate is due to close its examination in March. The final planning decision is scheduled for September 2015.

Quite understandably, a plan for what would be the world’s largest offshore wind farm has sparked fierce debate.

None of the arguments here are especially new, focusing on the concerns about visual impact. But we are seeing some big numbers being thrown around. The most interesting — and ludicrous — of them, is a figure of £2.5bn.

That is the amount of compensation that Bournemouth Council is set to seek if Navitus Bay gets the go ahead, according to its head of tourism. The figure is based on an assumption of £100m in lost visitor trade each year and then annualised over 25 years.

But why ludicrous? Simply, because we think the damage that an offshore wind farm could have on tourism in a coastal town 13 miles away is being grossly overstated.

It doesn’t help that the figure is based on spurious maths. It assumes that Bournemouth’s tourism sector was worth £503m in 2013, and that 20% of people surveyed by Eneco and EDF said they would be likely to visit somewhere else during construction.

Now, in isolation, neither of those figures looks wrong. The problem comes because too much has been extrapolated from them.

It seems clear to us that the £2.5bn is inaccurate. Construction is set to take five years, not 25, and this fact alone would adjust the original excitable figure down to £500m. That's £2bn saved.

But even £500m is too high. We just don't see why Bournemouth’s tourism sector would lose £100m a year during construction.

Visitors to the town won’t be confronted with bulldozers on the beach. They won’t be confronted with all that much given that the vast majority of activity will be handled by ports in Poole, Portland and Yarmouth – where, incidentally, jobs will be created.

If anything these jobs will help the local economy.

Let's be clear: Navitus Bay will have no impact on the fundamentals on the attractive seaside town. It doesn't affect the beaches, the ice creams, the sea or the sandcastles. It hasn't put off visitors to the beaches of north Norfolk with views of distant offshore wind farms, and there is no reason to think Bournemouth would be different.

At worst, it might affect the holiday plans of a few turbine-phobes. So what? There are plenty of others who would take their place.

Brits can enjoy a seaside holiday in the wind, the wet, and the cold. They won't be put off by a series of turbine dots on the horizon.

Sun, sea and sandy beaches. Bournemouth has it all — but it is plans offshore that have recently attracted the greatest interest.

The Planning Inspectorate last week started examining plans for the 970MW Navitus Bay proposed by Eneco and EDF off the UK’s south coast. Yesterday was the deadline for written representations, and the inspectorate is due to close its examination in March. The final planning decision is scheduled for September 2015.

Quite understandably, a plan for what would be the world’s largest offshore wind farm has sparked fierce debate.

None of the arguments here are especially new, focusing on the concerns about visual impact. But we are seeing some big numbers being thrown around. The most interesting — and ludicrous — of them, is a figure of £2.5bn.

That is the amount of compensation that Bournemouth Council is set to seek if Navitus Bay gets the go ahead, according to its head of tourism. The figure is based on an assumption of £100m in lost visitor trade each year and then annualised over 25 years.

But why ludicrous? Simply, because we think the damage that an offshore wind farm could have on tourism in a coastal town 13 miles away is being grossly overstated.

It doesn’t help that the figure is based on spurious maths. It assumes that Bournemouth’s tourism sector was worth £503m in 2013, and that 20% of people surveyed by Eneco and EDF said they would be likely to visit somewhere else during construction.

Now, in isolation, neither of those figures looks wrong. The problem comes because too much has been extrapolated from them.

It seems clear to us that the £2.5bn is inaccurate. Construction is set to take five years, not 25, and this fact alone would adjust the original excitable figure down to £500m. That's £2bn saved.

But even £500m is too high. We just don't see why Bournemouth’s tourism sector would lose £100m a year during construction.

Visitors to the town won’t be confronted with bulldozers on the beach. They won’t be confronted with all that much given that the vast majority of activity will be handled by ports in Poole, Portland and Yarmouth – where, incidentally, jobs will be created.

If anything these jobs will help the local economy.

Let's be clear: Navitus Bay will have no impact on the fundamentals on the attractive seaside town. It doesn't affect the beaches, the ice creams, the sea or the sandcastles. It hasn't put off visitors to the beaches of north Norfolk with views of distant offshore wind farms, and there is no reason to think Bournemouth would be different.

At worst, it might affect the holiday plans of a few turbine-phobes. So what? There are plenty of others who would take their place.

Brits can enjoy a seaside holiday in the wind, the wet, and the cold. They won't be put off by a series of turbine dots on the horizon.

Sun, sea and sandy beaches. Bournemouth has it all — but it is plans offshore that have recently attracted the greatest interest.

The Planning Inspectorate last week started examining plans for the 970MW Navitus Bay proposed by Eneco and EDF off the UK’s south coast. Yesterday was the deadline for written representations, and the inspectorate is due to close its examination in March. The final planning decision is scheduled for September 2015.

Quite understandably, a plan for what would be the world’s largest offshore wind farm has sparked fierce debate.

None of the arguments here are especially new, focusing on the concerns about visual impact. But we are seeing some big numbers being thrown around. The most interesting — and ludicrous — of them, is a figure of £2.5bn.

That is the amount of compensation that Bournemouth Council is set to seek if Navitus Bay gets the go ahead, according to its head of tourism. The figure is based on an assumption of £100m in lost visitor trade each year and then annualised over 25 years.

But why ludicrous? Simply, because we think the damage that an offshore wind farm could have on tourism in a coastal town 13 miles away is being grossly overstated.

It doesn’t help that the figure is based on spurious maths. It assumes that Bournemouth’s tourism sector was worth £503m in 2013, and that 20% of people surveyed by Eneco and EDF said they would be likely to visit somewhere else during construction.

Now, in isolation, neither of those figures looks wrong. The problem comes because too much has been extrapolated from them.

It seems clear to us that the £2.5bn is inaccurate. Construction is set to take five years, not 25, and this fact alone would adjust the original excitable figure down to £500m. That's £2bn saved.

But even £500m is too high. We just don't see why Bournemouth’s tourism sector would lose £100m a year during construction.

Visitors to the town won’t be confronted with bulldozers on the beach. They won’t be confronted with all that much given that the vast majority of activity will be handled by ports in Poole, Portland and Yarmouth – where, incidentally, jobs will be created.

If anything these jobs will help the local economy.

Let's be clear: Navitus Bay will have no impact on the fundamentals on the attractive seaside town. It doesn't affect the beaches, the ice creams, the sea or the sandcastles. It hasn't put off visitors to the beaches of north Norfolk with views of distant offshore wind farms, and there is no reason to think Bournemouth would be different.

At worst, it might affect the holiday plans of a few turbine-phobes. So what? There are plenty of others who would take their place.

Brits can enjoy a seaside holiday in the wind, the wet, and the cold. They won't be put off by a series of turbine dots on the horizon.

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Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.