Plans for huge solar farm on MP Richard Drax’s estate facing judicial review

Bournemouth Echo: Plans for huge solar farm on MP Richard Drax’s estate facing judicial review Plans for huge solar farm on MP Richard Drax’s estate facing judicial review

A HUGE solar farm planned for an estate belonging to MP Richard Drax faces a judicial review.

Planning permission was granted for the 175-acre site at the Charborough Estate near Mapperton in November last year, despite more than 500 objections from locals.

But a one-day hearing in Bristol this summer could see the decision overturned.

Campaigner Katherine Butler, who grew up in Mapperton, said locals had discovered that developers have not completed an environmental impact assessment.

Although this is not always necessary, the district council has agreed that it was in this case.

However, developers Good Energy have disagreed with this, leading to the review.

“When permission was given, we gave four points disputing East Dorset District Council’s decision, and the council upheld two of those,” she said.

“That is why a judicial review will take place. I will be acting as the claimant, the council will defend – despite their concession – and Good Energy will act as the interested party.”

She said it was “unfortunate” that the review had not come about because of campaigners’ concerns about the location of the development, but added: “We are very hopeful that the judge will agree with our argument.”

The solar farm will cover a size Ms Butler equated to “110 football pitches”.

Wiltshire-based Good Energy, the company to install the 112,000 panels, said the scheme would generate enough power for 6,000 homes.

A spokesperson said: “We think Mapperton is an excellent site for a solar farm.

“The council’s planning officer recommended our application for approval, and the council’s planning committee approved it, and it is disappointing that the process of building the solar farm is being interrupted by this claim.

The spokesperson added that a judicial review is a challenge to the way in which a decision has been made, rather than whether the conclusion reached is right.

Comments (2)

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11:43am Fri 14 Mar 14

hadvar says...

This is where someone with 'connections' would help. Let's say the effected party was an aristo, an MP, a wealthy land owner who, perhaps is an old harrovian and has about 5 barrels of surname. Such a person would be able to pull a few strings, call in a few favours and oil any wheels that were unlubricated. As it stands, poor old 'Draxy' will just have to hope that the breaks go his way, and natural justice is carried out. Life is so unfair. Chin up Ricky!
This is where someone with 'connections' would help. Let's say the effected party was an aristo, an MP, a wealthy land owner who, perhaps is an old harrovian and has about 5 barrels of surname. Such a person would be able to pull a few strings, call in a few favours and oil any wheels that were unlubricated. As it stands, poor old 'Draxy' will just have to hope that the breaks go his way, and natural justice is carried out. Life is so unfair. Chin up Ricky! hadvar
  • Score: 7

6:40pm Sat 15 Mar 14

Lewcee says...

What rot. Have you seen the Panel Display on the south side of the A35 west of Organford? Intrusion? Very mild, compared to whopping great wind turbines. This site is in the middle of no-where, not overlooked - sheep & goats will be able to continue grazing under the array in some shelter in bad weather. Pick a better cause to moan about.
What rot. Have you seen the Panel Display on the south side of the A35 west of Organford? Intrusion? Very mild, compared to whopping great wind turbines. This site is in the middle of no-where, not overlooked - sheep & goats will be able to continue grazing under the array in some shelter in bad weather. Pick a better cause to moan about. Lewcee
  • Score: 0

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