A PUBLIC meeting in Charminster saw people speak out against a proposed wind farm development near the village.

Broadview Energy Limited has submitted a planning application for six turbines on land at Slyer’s Lane.

Around 70 people attended the public meeting in the village which Tim Yarker, from the protest group No Slyer’s Lane Turbines, said included ‘logical and reasoned argument’ for rejecting the proposal.

He said: “We believe that the people of Dorchester and the surrounding villages should be fully aware of the scale of this proposed industrialisation of Higher Burton Farm and the impact it will have on the locality.

"We are continually meeting people who have no idea of the sheer scale of these turbines and the wide area of West Dorset from which they will be visible.

"Many residents in Dorchester and Poundbury erroneously think that they won’t see these 115m high structures, yet they will be visible from as far away as Poole.”

Mr Yarker added that, while his group was not against renewable energy in principle, schemes needed to be ‘appropriately sited’.

He said: “One of Dorset’s most important assets is its landscape, and this is not just a local blessing, it has international significance both through the works of Thomas Hardy, but also the hills encircling Dorchester form a highly important archaeological landscape of continuous habitation since the Mesolithic era.

“No Slyer’s Lane Turbines supports appropriately-sited renewable energy, but believes that the damage that this particular scheme will wreak far outweighs the insignificant amount of power it will produce, and we feel that this special landscape should be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

"It is paradoxical that one of the arguments used to support turbine installations is that we tolerate electricity pylons, just at the moment the National Grid has recognised the damage they cause to sensitive landscape such as the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has allocated £500million to bury power cables where they are most intrusive, including a stretch in West Dorset.”

Mr Yarker urged people to register their objection to the scheme at noslyerslaneturbines.co.uk or by commenting on the planning application at dorsetforyou.com

Broadview has held a series of its own public engagement events before submitting the planning application and there are also two local groups supporting the scheme – West Dorset Pro Wind and Slyer’s Lane Clean Energy Group.