Star of the E4 television series “Made in Chelsea” Francis Boulle has given his backing to a campaign against wind turbines near Dorchester.
He was at Waterston Manor, near Dorchester, on Sunday where he officially opened an open gardens event and went on to introduce a debate about proposals for turbines near Tolpuddle and on the outskirts of Dorchester.
The event was attended by around a thousand people.
Mr Boulle said he was amazed that turbines should even be considered in a landscape made famous by Thomas Hardy.
Waterston Manor was the setting of Weatherbury Farm in Hardy’s “Far from the Madding Crowd”, published 140 years ago.
Also speaking during the afternoon was Tony Fincham, Charman of the Thomas Hardy Society who talked about Hardy’s landscape under threat as part of the Thomas Hardy Society birthday weekend celebrations.
Other speakers were Richard Slocock from TAINT, Tolpuddle Against Industrial Turbines, and Dr David Peacock from the Dorset Campaign to Protect Rural England.
TAINT will benefit from the profits from the event with the group opposing wind turbines off Slyer’s Lane in Dorchester also getting a share of the income from a silent auction held during the day.
The open gardens event also included music from six groups, a fun dog show and stalls selling plants, crafts and food.
TAINT has 400 registered members. The application for a site north of Tolpuddle, which was submitted in early 2013, received 1,100 letters of objection and was eventually withdrawn in October 2013.
West Coast Energy have now drawn up a new proposal for five turbines of slightly reduced height in the same location.
Similar-sized turbines, of more than 300 feet, are also planned for farmland off Slyer’s Lane between Dorchester and Charminster. Six turbines are being proposed by Broadview Energy who are expected to submit a planning application in the summer.
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