The report warned that the turbines could damage conservation areas in The Wash and rare species like the sandwich tern, which breed on Natural England’s reserves at Scolt Head and Blakeney Point. It warned that up to 50 of the birds could perish each year in collisions with turbines.

The report said: Given the scale and extent of the proposed Docking Shoal Offshore Wind farm, effects on the surrounding seascape and visual environment are unavoidable.

Elizabeth Watson, councilor for Hunstanton, Holme, Old Hunstanton and Ringstead, said: I am very unhappy that they do not know the exact numbers and there will be cumulative effect with the other windfarms along the coast. It is very much going to be a change in character of the whole area of north Norfolk. I am very uncomfortable with this decision being made in Westminster. They are not the ones who are going to have to live with it.

A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said: The Docking Shoal wind farm is likely to cause problems for sandwich terns and this would be a concern for the RSPB. We look at windfarm applications on a case-by- case basis and this will also be true for Docking Shoal.

The Greater Wash area was identified by the Department of Trade and Industry as a strategic location for the development of offshore wind energy in 2002. The Crown Estate, which owns the seabed, granted the company a lease for Docking Shoal in 2005.

In its application for the wind farm, Centrica said that it could build up to 160 turbines on the site, which would stretch parallel with the coastline from Wells to Brancaster.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said that public notices had been published and exhibitions held for the turbines, so people were able to express their view.

She said: The decision will be made by the secretary of state for energy and climate change, Ed Miliband, as the turbines will have a capacity of over 100 megawatts.

Centrica Spokesman Alan Maclaughlin said that its experts would look at the council’s objections in detail and would issue a full response.