Solar scheme for 40-acre farm site near Maiden Newton

Solar scheme for 40-acre farm site near Maiden Newton

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A solar scheme covering 40 acres of farmland near Maiden Newton, producing enough green energy to power 4,800 homes, has been submitted to Dorset Council.
Energy company Environmena want to build a 40-acre 11.8 MW solar installation on two fields at Cruxton Manor Farm, which is 0.7km south-west of Dorchester Road on the A356.
The plan is one of almost 1,000 solar farms in the planning pipeline across the country to help provide green energy.
Environmena says that the installation is not only vital to meet the government’s sustainability targets but secure the UK’s future renewable energy supplies, not least in the face of global threats from incidents like the current war in the Ukraine. Renewable energy is also a vital resource in tackling the rising cost of energy which is having a huge effect on household spending.
Mark Harding, Enviromena’s Europe Development Director, said: “This proposed development will provide enough green energy to provide power to over 4,800 UK homes every year which in turn will offset over 3,000 tonnes of carbon.
“In addition, the proposed development will help create a significant number of employment opportunities in the Dorset area both during the build stage of the project and once fully operational. In addition to creating jobs, use of a local supply chain will provide a significant economic benefit to the local area which should not be underestimated.”
However, the plan has been met with some concerns from Dorset Wildlife Trust, The Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership and Maiden Newton Parish Council among others, who would not approve the scheme in its current form.
A statement from Maiden Newton Parish Council reads: “Maiden Newton Parish Council agree in principle to the application of the solar farm but given the amount of construction traffic that this development will require on the small narrow lanes and its impact on the local community we cannot support the proposal to install ground-mounted solar panel photovoltaic solar arrays, substations, inverter stations, security fencing, access tracks, landscaping and other ancillary infrastructure in this location.
“The council would like to point out that there has been a lot of work within the community to assist with flood alleviation with the maintaining of gullies and grips, this will all be lost with the number of oversized vehicles that will be using these routes on a daily basis until it has been constructed.
“The chosen route is also part of Nation Cycle Network 26, which is a frequently used route by the visitors to the area, the local community and many children. This will impact on the safety of this route.
“Should the planning authority support this application then a more safe and suitable access to the site will need to be arranged.”

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