WINDFARM protesters gathered in Charminster to hear from a leading campaigner.

Julien Turner, a founding member of DART (Dorset Against Rural Turbines), addressed a packed village hall with members of the community concerned by plans for a windfarm in their area.

Renewable energy firm Broadview Energy Limited is in the early stages of submitting a proposal for a seven-turbine development on agricultural land between Wolfedale Golf Course and Slyer’s Lane.

As well as hearing from Mr Turner, the residents attending the meeting also watched a film about the impact windfarms can have on communities.

Anti-windfarm resident Geoff Markham, who attended the event, said: “We had a very good talk from Julien Turner and a very good film about the effect that wind turbines have had on some people.”

Mr Markham said there was a general view from those attending the meeting that an action committee needed to be set up to voice the concern among local residents.

He said that as far as he was aware almost all of those who attended the meeting were against the plans and the hall was so full that extra seating was required to accommodate everyone.

Mr Markham said: “It was very well attended, everyone there was probably against the project.”

He added that it was also important that people living in Poundbury and Dorchester started to become more aware of the proposals and the impact it could have on the surrounding area.

Broadview claims that the turbines will produce enough electricity to power 7,000 homes and, if the scheme goes ahead, is promising a significant investment programme in the local community.

The company has held exhibitions at St Mary’s School in Charminster and Herrison Hall in Charlton Down to inform residents of the proposals and collect feedback from the community.

Firm 'keen to engage with residents'

BROADVIEW’S project manager Tom Cosgrove said the plans for Slyer’s Lane were still in the early stages and the firm was keen to engage with local residents as it developed them.

He said: “The Slyer’s Lane project is still at a very early stage and we are really focussing on making sure that we speak to as many people in the area as possible so that the community has a real chance to be involved and influence the project.

“We’ve seen a very positive reaction from a number of local residents and it’s clear that people are aware that the way we generate and use energy is changing due to the challenges we face tackling climate change and reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels.

“The majority of people we’ve spoken to think harnessing renewable energy is a good idea and we’ve now got to ensure that we design the right project for the area, striking the right balance between maximising the amount of clean electricity produced and sensitively managing the project’s integration into the existing environment.”