Residents air views on wind farm plans

Dorset Echo: Richard East and Tim Yarker protesting against the proposed wind farm Richard East and Tim Yarker protesting against the proposed wind farm

PEOPLE in Dorchester got their chance to air their views on a proposed wind farm near the county town.

Broadview Energy Limited is preparing to submit a planning application for a wind farm on agricultural land at Slyer’s Lane to the north of Dorchester near Charminster.

The company recently announced that it was scaling back its plans, with the proposed option now for six wind turbines rather than seven and to reduce the height of the installations from 125m to 115m.

The exhibition at the Wessex Royale Hotel in High West Street was the latest in a series of public displays and workshops, with events also being held in Charminster, Charlton Down and Poundbury.

Development manager at Broadview Tom Cosgrove said that over 100 people have now been through the public engagement events, which offered people the chance to find out more about the plans and the chance for members of the community to invest in the project and earn a share of the projects.

He said that the feedback so far had been broadly mixed, with a number of people expressing their support for the wind farms as well as some people objecting to the plans.

Mr Cosgrove said: “We have had a range of opinions about the development.

“Lots of people have come in and wished us luck and said they were happy to support a wind farm in this location.”

Mr Cosgrove said that the exhibitions also gave people a chance to see the changes to the proposed wind farm and how the move to six smaller wind farms will reduce the visual impact.

He said: “It will still allow us to generate a lot of electricity but it reduces the visual effect of the turbines.”

Outside the exhibition members of the No Slyers Lane Turbines group, which was set up by residents opposed to the plans, were handing out information about their campaign.

Tim Yarker, who lives in Charminster, explained that they were not picketing people but offering anyone interested the chance to find out an alternative point of view from the one being put forward by Broadview.

He said that the group was not opposed to wind farms in principle but said that the scale and location of the proposed development would have a damaging impact on the local area.

Mr Yarker said: “What we are opposed to is the imposition of very large industrial constructions within 2.5km of the county town and 1.5km of the village of Charminster.

“They rise to a height of 115m and are completely out of scale with the countryside and will significantly detract from the visual amenity of the county town and the surrounding villages.”

Mr Cosgrove pointed out that there had also been a group set up to support the proposed Slyers Lane wind farm.

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