THE president of Dorchester’s Chamber of Commerce says she is encouraged by the prospect that local business will get the chance to benefit from a wind farm planned near Dorchester.

Alison Moore stressed that the Chamber did not have a view on whether or not the scheme planned for land near Slyer’s Lane at Charminster should go ahead and it ‘would not be appropriate’ for it to comment.

However, she said she was pleased with discussions with developer Broadview Energy Limited that if any scheme does go ahead then firms in the county town will be in line to grab a slice of the investment into the area.

Mrs Moore said: “The Chamber doesn’t have a view on whether it goes ahead and it would not be appropriate for us to have one.

“However, we have been in contact with the developer and have been reassured that if the planning should be successful they are looking to source as many of their suppliers from local businesses as possible, which is absolutely brilliant.”

Renewable energy firm Broadview has been out to consultation with the local community on proposals for a seven-turbine wind farm on agricultural land between Wolfedale Golf Course and Slyer’s Lane ahead of submitting a planning application.

If successful, Broadview claims the site could produce enough electricity to power 7,000 homes.

Mrs Moore said that she expected the parish council and other bodies to be heavily involved as the planning process moves forward and said that if any scheme is successful the developer’s willingness to deal with businesses from the area wherever possible was a ‘big bonus for the local economy’.

With plans also moving forward for a 1,000 holiday chalet development at Crossways and likely to bring major investment into the local economy, Mrs Moore said that it was important if major schemes came forward in the area Dorchester businesses made the most of the opportunities they presented.

She said: “Providing all the planning issues and people’s concerns are taken into account, if big businesses want to come in and work with our members then we are definitely up for it.”

How to get involved...

Broadview’s project manager Tom Cosgrove said: “Despite the proposal for the Slyer’s Lane project being at a very early stage we are keen to hear from local contractors and businesses who could potentially get involved in the construction phase of the wind farm.
“If planning permission were to be granted, there would be a range of opportunities for local businesses to get involved through tendering for a wide range of services which could be anything from catering and security to providing labour and materials through construction.
“We are keen to meet with local suppliers and service providers over the coming months so that we can formulate a picture as to where the best opportunities for utilising a local supply chain lie if the project goes ahead.”