January 25, 2016

Blow for Slyer’s Lane wind farm plans as council recommends refusal

Dorset Echo | www.dorsetecho.co.uk

Plans or a wind farm near Dorchester look set to be rejected at a meeting next week.

Developers Broadview Energy Limited has lodged an application to erect six wind turbines of up to 115m in height at Slyer’s Lane near Charminster with West Dorset District Council.

The council’s development control committee is due to meet to consider the application on Thursday and members will consider a report from officers recommending they refuse the application.

The report states: “The proposed development in this case would result in significant harm to the setting of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

It adds that the wind farm would also ‘significantly adversely affect’ the character and visual quality of the immediate local landscape.

The report goes on to list a number of scheduled monuments, listed buildings, registered parks and gardens and conservation areas that would be harmed by the proposed development, including Maiden Castle, Maumbury Rings and Kingston Maurward House.

The council officers also highlight the ‘high potential’ that there are unrecorded Bronze Age barrows within the application site that could be damaged through the construction of the development.

In addition to erecting the six 115m turbines, the planning application also seeks permission for a range of infrastructure including approximately 3,400m of new access tracks, a new site entrance, underground cabling within the site, foundations for the turbines, a site control building and a temporary construction compound.

The proposed wind farm has divided the local community in Charminster, with campaign groups set up both to support and oppose the plans.

A survey conducted by Charminster Parish Council showed that of 361 responses 43 per cent supported the scheme, 53 per cent were opposed to it and four per cent did not mind either way.

The report to be considered by councillors states that a total of 3,326 letters of representation were received in relation to the application, with 2,648 objections and 678 letters of support.

Historic England stated in its response to the application: “In our view the application under-represents and underestimates the degree and extent of potential impact and harm to designated heritage assets.

“We consider that the proposed development would have a harmful impact on the setting and significance of a large number of heritage assets.”

Ian Gosling, chairman of the No Slyer’s Lane Turbines opposition group, said he was please with the officers’ report and hoped that it would be backed up by councillors voting to reject the application next week.

He said: “We are very happy with the report of the officers because they have accepted all the arguments that we have been making over the past two years.

“Of course the committee is entitled to disregard their opinion but if they do so they actually have to justify their decision not to follow the recommendation.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2016/01/25/blow-for-slyers-lane-wind-farm-plans-as-council-recommends-refusal/