A PUBLIC consultation for a solar farm near Lytchett Minster took place on Tuesday afternoon with residents raising concerns about the proposal.

The scheme from renewable energy company Green Nation will cover 54 acres, an area of six fields located next to the A35 between Lytchett Minister and Upton.

Local resident Mrs King said: “My mother’s house faces towards the solar panels, it has the most fabulous view and the panels are going here. My question is how these solar panels can be described as being in the character of the area.

“Things like loss of value and loss of view and the personal circumstances of people living in the area, none of that is relevant to the council.

“My mother had an estate agents quote and the agent feels that the reduction in the value of her property will be considerable, but that’s not going to be taken into account. Any view that they’ve got is completely destroyed, as is that of several houses.”

Another local resident, Maureen Skinner, said: “I’m about 20 feet away from the solar panels, which will be facing me, and at the bottom of my garden will be these forty foot containers to house the batteries.

“Some people say it’s a case of ‘not in my backyard syndrome’, but all I can say to that is would they like it in their backyard.”

Another resident, Brian Collins, said he was partially in favour of the solar farm but hopes adjustments can be made.

“In essence I haven’t got a problem with them building the solar panels but I was shocked to hear that they would be 2.8 metres high, its upsetting to put it mildly," he said.

“The height of this is what affects us, I understand why they are doing it and it’s got to be done somewhere, I haven’t got an objection in essence but it cost us around £20,000 to have that view and at 2.8 metres it’s going to take almost the whole view away, so were going to be looking at a black brick wall.”

Other residents raised concerns about the field currently being used for cattle grazing and as a deer run.

Clare Lees, the owner of the proposed solar farm site, said: “We already have 100 acres of solar panels on the farm which work really well and provide clean green energy for over 6,000 homes.

“Some people are worried about the green belt, in 40 years time technology will have completely changed and if the panels aren’t needed they will be removed and the and the land will be pristine, this is not a permanent thing, this is a temporary thing.

“One of the reasons why it has to be here is because it is right next door to the substation so this is going to be one of the first subsidy free solar sites in the country that doesn’t have a bespoke end user.

“This is a really good cheap way to produce energy and it will produce energy for somewhere around 5,000 houses that will be completely clean."

Ward councillor Andrew Starr was also present. He said: “There are people who I feel sorry for but with planning law, you don’t own the view. I do sympathise very much but we are in an environmental catastrophe and we need to do something about it and what you always hear is not here, this is not a suitable site, but nowhere seems to be suitable.

“I think we’ve all got to play our part and I think the people of Lytchett and Upton have to play their part as well because they all use energy.”

Jonathan Thompson, chief executive of Green Nation, said: “In order to get to net zero by 2050, every part of the country will be putting in more solar capacity and this is the contribution of this area to that effort.

“When you do a solar farm it’s very important to make sure that it blends in to the community as well as possible.

“Solar farms are fairly low profile, you can have vegetation growing around them and the biodiversity is usually enhanced by having a solar farm. We do go out of our way to work on anything that could have an effect on the area.

“Of course, you don’t want to upset people but we have a number of solar farms and we get almost no comments from locals because they are fairly low profile and people get used to them very quickly.”

If the solar farm was to be approved it would take around three months to build.