Britain’s coastlines are in danger from offshore wind farms, a government report has warned.
In a review of European Union regulations to protect birds and animals, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found that the UK is not imposing sufficiently strong protections around the coast.
In Germany, wind farm operators are forced to do a thorough environmental assessment before building but Britain is far more relaxed, the review found.
It called for key areas to be designated as protection zones so planners would know where wind farms cannot be built.
Almost 300 wind turbines will be built offshore in Britain this year, adding to a total of 3,500. By 2020, the industry wants 4,300 offshore turbines to help Britain meet its target to cut carbon emissions in half.
Campaigners claim they threaten wildlife, spoil sea views and could hinder tourism.