ALMOST 500 solar panels are to be installed at a Purbeck tourist site.

Dorset Council has approved a planning application for the Birchwood Tourist Park in Bere Road, Coldharbour, near Wareham.

It allows for 480 solar panels, capable of producing 200kW of power, enough for a third of the park’s electricity usage.

A 0.2 hectare site next to the tourist area has been selected for the panels and is described as being low-lying, shielded by hedges and trees to the east and south, with the park to the north.

Construction is estimated to take between six and eight weeks with only infrequent maintenance visits required once the area is in operation.

Wareham St Martin parish council supported the application.