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Ecotricity appealing against planning permission refusal for North Dorset wind farm

A green energy company is appealing against the refusal of planning permission for a wind farm in north Dorset.

Ecotricity said North Dorset District Council made the decision despite its own officers twice recommending approval.

The appeal will be lodged with the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol and there will then be a public hearing.

Mike Cheshire, spokesman for Ecotricity, said: “We are appealing the decision because this wind park, with just four graceful windmills, would be the very first in Dorset and would boost the county’s existing green energy resource by almost 50 per cent at a stroke.

“The majority of Dorset people say they support wind power. We can’t allow where our energy comes from to continue to be decided by whoever shouts the loudest.”

The Daily Echo reported earlier this year that the council was believed to have set aside £40,000 in its capital budget to contest any appeal.

The 120 metre high turbines were planned for Silton, north west of Gillingham, and were rejected in March.

Around 400 placard-waving protesters gathered at Gillingham’s Riversmeet leisure centre as councillors arrived at the day-long meeting.

Ian Barter, secretary of the opposition group Save Our Silton, said the group would hold a meeting to plan its next step but said the appeal was ‘no surprise at all’.

He said: “You need to simply go by the facts. Two thousand people objected to them setting up the turbines, and I think 11 people spoke in favour. The figures speak for themselves.”