A HUGE solar farm planned for an estate belonging to MP Richard Drax faces a judicial review.
Planning permission was granted for the 175-acre site at the Charborough Estate near Mapperton in November last year, despite more than 500 objections from locals.
But a one-day hearing in Bristol this summer could see the decision overturned.
Campaigner Katherine Butler, who grew up in Mapperton, said locals had discovered that developers have not completed an environmental impact assessment.
Although this is not always necessary, the district council has agreed that it was in this case.
However, developers Good Energy have disagreed with this, leading to the review.
“When permission was given, we gave four points disputing East Dorset District Council’s decision, and the council upheld two of those,” said Ms Butler.
“That is why a judicial review will take place. I will be acting as the claimant, the council will defend – despite their concession – and Good Energy will act as the interested party.”
She said it was ‘unfortunate’ that the review had not come about because of campaigners’ concerns about the location of the development.
Ms Butler added: “We are very hopeful that the judge will agree with our argument.”
The solar farm will cover a size Ms Butler equated to ‘110 football pitches’.
Wiltshire-based Good Energy, the company to install the 112,000 panels, said the scheme would generate enough power for 6,000 homes.
A spokesman said: “We think Mapperton is an excellent site for a solar farm. The council’s planning officer recommended our application for approval, and the council’s planning committee approved it, and it is disappointing that the process of building the solar farm is being interrupted by this claim.” The spokeman added that a judicial review is a challenge to the way in which a decision has been made, rather than whether the conclusion reached is right or wrong.