A major wind farm is being planned for the outskirts of Dorchester.
Renewable energy firm Broadview Energy Limited claims it is in the early stages of exploring a site close to ]the Dorset County Show site on agricultural land between Wolfedale Golf Course and Slyer’s Lane.
The site could be used to accommodate up to seven wind turbines of a height of up to 125m–three times the height of the existing turbine off the A35 near Bere Regis.
Studies are currently being carried out on the site and Broadview is planning to hold information events with the local community in the autumn.
Project manager Tom Cosgrove said: “We are at a very early stage with our plans but are keen to hear people’s thoughts and give the local community an opportunity to have their say.
“To facilitate this, we have set up a project website where people can get in touch and find out more as information becomes available.”
He added: “We hope to maintain an open dialogue with the community and, providing that our studies continue to produce positive results, we will be organising exhibition events towards the end of the summer.
“Onshore wind power remains central to government energy policy, represents a low carbon, domestic resource which does not depend on imported fossil fuels, and will provide an important contribution to keeping the lights on and reducing carbon emissions.”
A Charminster resident, who asked not to be named, said that they feared that the plans could lead to another proposed site at land north of Tolpuddle to the east eventually being linked up to the Slyer’s Land wind farm.
He said: “My concern is we are going to have this development out at Tolpuddle and it’s going to drive on and eventually be swept right through.”
Chairman of Charminster Parish Council Mark Simons said he had spoken to a number of residents that were against the proposals, but claimed he had also spoken to some in favour.
He said the parish council would be discussing the plans and an application for a monitoring mast that had already been submitted to West Dorset District Council.
Mr Simons said they would also be sending out a survey for villagers to get their feedback.
He said: “We need to be sure the parish council views represent the people’s view.
“Often evidence shows that the general public’s view is not necessarily as strong as those given by opposition groups.”
PANEL THERE was a degree of support for the plans from local district councillor Alistair Chisholm.
He said he understood how some local residents may be opposed to the scheme but his personal view was that there was a need to look at more sustainable energy solutions with a view to future generations.
Councillor Chisholm said: “I just think we have got to bite the bullet, we can’t go on using fossil fuels.
“The major argument against it is that it is a blot on the landscape and one wouldn’t like to see the whole of Dorset covered in these things but I don’t think that it what is being proposed.”
He added that if the scheme were to go ahead, he would be keen to see the community receive some sort of contribution from Broadview.
Dorchester town councillor Tim Harries added that, while he had not seen the plans and would like to inspect them further, he was also generally in favour of wind farms.
PANEL 2 NEWS of a potential wind farm near Charminster comes as residents a few miles away are locked in a battle about a similar facility planned near Tolpuddle.
West Coast Energy has been pushing forward with plans for a nine-turbine facility on farmland to the south west of Milborne St Andrew, north of Tolpuddle and north east of Puddletown.
In response to the proposal local residents have set up TAINT, Tolpuddle Against Industrial Turbines, a protest group voicing opposition to the wind farm.
The group recently held a fundraiser at Waterston Manor, which attracted support from Made in Chelsea star Francis Boulle.
Over 1,000 representations have also been made in relation to the planning application submitted to West Dorset District Council.
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