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Over 500 people object to plans for 175-acre solar farm for Drax estate
MORE than 500 people have now objected to plans for an enormous solar farm on land owned by MP Richard Drax.
Proposals for a 175-acre site, which will cover the size of 110 football pitches, were submitted to East Dorset District Council earlier this year.
If the plans are accepted, the solar farm, which would be situated on arable land in the village of Almer, will be the third largest of its kind in the UK.
Vice chairman of the Dorset branch of Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Stephen Howard, said: “We need energy from renewable sources, but there is no point avoiding climate change if we wreck our precious landscapes in the process.
“It would represent a large, artificial intrusion into this beautiful and sensitive countryside and the virtual industrialization of it. If it is refused it will deter further similar proposals.”
The group is holding a seminar on October 31 to allow members of the public to have their say on the plans.
The conference, which will take place at Frampton Village Hall from 10.30am until 3pm, will also focus on renewable energy schemes at Rampisham, the Piddle Valley and Tolpuddle.
Winterborne Zelston resident Dr David Pope said it would be clearly seen from footpaths and bridleways surrounding the site, as well as those two miles away at Morden.
He added: “It will be a major visual intrusion, and will totally ruin our walks and enjoyment of the unspoilt countryside here.”
Members of CPRE say six solar farms have already been approved, or are under active consideration, within a five miles radius of the site.
But Mr Drax said in a statement: “The opinion of the local community was sought prior to submitting the application and will continue to be incorporated.
“The site is well screened and the land will be planted to a wildflower rich grass sward.”
To join the seminar, email email@example.com
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