Dorset CPRE, PO Box 9018, Dorchester, DT1 9GY.                                                                
Tel: 0333 577 0360  Registered Charity No. 211974.   2016 © Dorset CPRE

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Industrial Wind Turbines

Renewable Energy
What are the best choices  for Dorset?
Renewable energies include solar, wave, biomass, heat pumps and wind energy, all of which are produced directly or indirectly from the sun, together with tidal and geothermal energies. They are secure, essentially inexhaustible and give rise to little pollution.      

It is important to choose those Renewable Energies which are truly cost effective rather than being subsidised with public money, and they should also be relatively unobtrusive in the countryside. Click here to read Dr John Larkin’s full article on renewable energy options first published in the Dorset CPRE Autumn Review 2010.

General Reports on Renewable Energy
The Warm and Green report asserts that energy efficiency has been grossly underplayed in discussions and policy on England’s future energy supply, and that it must become increasingly important in rural areas. April 2015

Reduction in approved Wind Farm Planning Applications in England
Dr David Peacock has produced a table showing the Approval and Refusal Rates for Wind Farm Planning Applications - England 2002 - 2014. Report produced on 11th April 2015.

David Peacock has produced an updated Dorset CPRE Report on Renewable Energy Installations in Dorset County (dated 31st December 2016).

Dorset Energy Partnership
Dorset Energy Partnership's Annual Report for 2013-2014 includes its annual Greater Dorset (includes Bournemouth and Poole) renewable energy survey, dated about the end of the first week of April 2014.

Kent CPRE produced an excellent report on all forms of renewable energy - a good introduction to the subject Renewable Energy Technologies - Kent CPRE.

Wind Turbine & Solar Farm applications in Dorset

In September 2014 Dorset CPRE wrote to West Dorset, North Dorset and East Dorset Planning Committee Members and relevant others, including Councillors, Officers and MPs regarding current position of need for Renewable Energy generation in Dorset County. The appendices produced by David Peacock included:

a report on the status of renewable energy generation in Dorset County

including information for the Districts and Boroughs of Dorset County

including progress towards meeting 2020 renewable energy targets.

Tables listing Renewable electricity installations and estimates of annual electricity generation from all installations.

Planning Status of UK Wind Farms as recorded in DECC’s.

David Peacock has produced an updated Dorset CPRE Report on Renewable Energy Installations in Dorset County (dated 31st December 2016).

Mapperton Farm, Blandford Forum, DT11 9ER
In 2013 Good Energy announced plans to build one of the biggest solar farms in Dorset, on land owned by South Dorset MP, Richard Drax. Local residents, supported by Dorset CPRE fought a strong campaign and a large majority of those writing to East Dorset DC (EDDC) opposed the plan. It was passed only on the casting vote of the chairman at the EDDC planning hearing, but was then subject to a Judicial Review. East Dorset DC and the developer conceded defeat in the legal battle in April 2014.

Photo of protestors at Mapperton 28th February 2015

This March Good Energy announced it intended making a fresh application. The Mapperton Solar Farm will now cover 106 acres with 90,000 solar PV panels, but the development site remains 175 acres or 110 soccer pitches. It would still be one of the biggest solar farms in the country and represents damaging industrialisation of the beautiful landscape here. Residents are objecting to the solar farm as it is located in an Area of Great Landscape Value, which is a protected landscape, as well as on grounds of visual intrusion and adverse impact to amenity and heritage assets. They are also concerned about the use of good arable land.  Dorset CPRE is supporting them. It also argues strongly that Dorset has made huge strides towards meeting a 7.5% Renewable Energy Target, thanks to the approval of 37 solar farms. This does not allow for any current renewable planning applications being successful, which is very unlikely. It can thus be more selective in choosing any further sites. Joint press release from Dorset CPRE and Katharine Butler 5th March 2015.

View from Grade II* Listed Charborough Park towards proposed Mapperton Solar Farm

Following the new application in April, Stephen Howard, Chair of Trustees, Dorset CPRE, made an urgent request to members to object to the new application

Local residents have now formed the Mapperton Preservation Group. So far over half the population living within two miles of the site have objected, excluding the area under Drax control, and over 650 written protests have been lodged with EDDC, well in excess of the 2013 total. A planning hearing at EDDC is expected in late June or July. Dr David Peacock has sent a response to the application on behalf of Dorset CPRE to James Brightman, Case Officer, EDDC.

Joint press release ‘ 700 objections to revised Mapperton Solar Farm ‘ from Mapperton Preservation Group and Dorset CPRE  12th June 2015.

7th January 2017
Dorset CPRE submitted an objection to application 3/13/0681/FUL on 7th January 2017.

5th December 2016

The proposal for the Mapperton Farm solar park has been resubmitted. We would like to suggest you do make a new comment on application 3/13/0681/FUL as there have been important developments since 2015. The deadline for writing has been extended to 7th January 2017.

Update: September 29th 2016

Despite losing two Judicial Reviews, East Dorset District Council and its Planning Committee are going to reconsider the solar park. The planning hearing is likely to be in November. The Mapperton Preservation Group, supported by CPRE, will fight on and hope that the committee see sense given little need for new solar given the huge progress Dorset has made towards meeting its Renewable Energy Target, as well as the Hinkley Point approval in the national context.

Update 28th June 2016
We are delighted to report that on 28th June the High Court of Justice quashed planning permission for the proposed Mapperton Solar Park.

Update 5th Jan 2016
Lawyers have lodged an application for Judicial Review to quash the decision to grant planning permission on five grounds of procedural error, and this will now be held on 18th May in the High Court in London. They are acting for Katharine Butler, who is supported by the Mapperton Preservation Group and Dorset CPRE. We believe we have a strong case, and are optimistic about the outcome.

Update 22nd July 2015
It was a sad day for local democracy with East Dorset DC (EDDC) yesterday ignoring the largest ever protest by local residents to a solar installation in Dorset. The Committee voted 7-3 to approve. This was despite evident bias and omissions in the Officers' report,  which we exposed in a letter to EDDC and the Planning Committee.  Excellent hard-hitting speeches made by Mapperton Preservation Group, Dorset CPRE,  Sturminster Marshall PC, and  the local District Councillor, all opposing the plan fell on mostly deaf ears. The Committee were determined to ignore the evidence and vote in favour of the renewable energy solution provided by Good Energy at whatever cost. The quality of debate was not high! We will be looking carefully at EDDC's handling of the application and possibly consider other options.  So maybe not the end of the story yet! Anyway the Mapperton Preservation Group, ably supported by Dorset CPRE,  can take consolation in a fight well fought, a major reduction in the size of the solar farm and much higher community benefits for those most affected! Many thanks go out to members who sent in written protests.

Press Comment on Mapperton Solar Farm application 2013-15

“Placard-waving residents showed their opposition to a plan for a solar farm at Mapperton. …They held a demonstration as the developer gave a presentation about the scheme to Lower Winterbourne Parish Council….David Peacock of Dorset CPRE said: "There is a need now for greater use to be made of solar PV on commercial and industrial roofs, which remain massively underutilised."….” Blackmore Vale Magazine 11/3/15

“this will be still be a blot on the landscape. Hence the strong objections from the Campaign to Protect Rural England.   What annoys the locals, aside from the fact that Mr Drax is not putting a solar farm next to his own home, is the fact he recently used his local newspaper to denounce green energy subsidies…should we continue to shovel billions into ruinous schemes which enrich utility companies and wealthy landowners, heap misery on local residents and make not one jot of difference to the average polar bear?” 
Dail Mail 30/9/13

Sadborow Solar Farm at Gashay Farm
We need your support in objecting to solar farm at Gashay Farm, above Marshwood, Thorncombe, WD/D/15/001863, deadline 1st December 2015. April 2016 update: The West Dorset Group assisted local residents in opposing the Sadborow solar farm application located on a prominent site near Thornecombe. The application was refused by WDDC at the end of April 2016.

West Dorset Wind Farm
Following the revelations regarding the Milborne wind farm, an action group, Tolpuddle Against Industrial Turbines (TAINT), was established by members of Tolpuddle, Southover and Affpuddle. The planning application was for nine turbines Dorset CPRE is in favour of renewable energy – provided it is not unacceptably damaging to the landscape or the amenity of local people. We believe that this application does not meet these requirements.

Amongst the reasons for objection are the following:

· Damage to what is now and always has been open countryside.
· Severe adverse visual intrusion across a wide area, extending far into the Dorset AONB.
· The close proximity of households to the turbines.
· Distraction to drivers using nearby major roads, the A354 and A35.

October 2015: This application was withdrawn.

June 2014: New plans have been submitted to WDDC for West Dorset Wind Farm at Tolpuddle planning application number WD/D/14/000885. We have written to our Dorset Members explaining the reasons why Dorset CPRE are objecting to the West Dorset Wind Farm application and included a proforma letter for application number WD/D/14/000885. Thank you to everyone who returned their signed proforma to Dorset CPRE or wrote an objection letter - just over 470 were received.

October 2013: This application was withdrawn. What is now being discussed is a scheme for five turbines. Campaigners, including Dorset CPRE, say they are delighted with the move – but have pledged to fight on and stop any turbines being built at all.

Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm
The company behind plans for up to six giant wind turbines between Dorchester and Charminster says it will listen to local opinion on the controversial project. And although the scheme lies outside the county town the company says it will also consider a Dorchester exhibition and meeting about its proposals.

Using land off Slyers Lane to the north of Dorchester the turbines will be clearly visible to many living in parts of the county town. The closest will be in a field next to the popular Sun Inn at Lower Burton – where many Dorchester residents walk to. The nearest of the turbines, each up to 410 feet high, could be built just over a mile from the edge of the county town. Tom Cosgrove, Project Manager at Broadview Energy, said: “We are at a very early stage with our plans ... We received a lot of helpful feedback at the consultation events which we will be considering in our design and assessment process.”

More information about Broadview Energy’s plans can be found on There is now a well organised action group opposing the development, No Slyers Lane Turbines, whose website is

28th January 2016 update
Great news. West Dorset District Council's development control committee today rejected the plan to erect six giant turbines on the outskirts of Dorchester. Councillors voted 6-3 against the application submitted by Broadview Energy.

Solar ‘park’ at Rampisham -
The solar ‘park’ at Rampisham is on the site of the former BBC World Service transmitting station. This is a massive scheme – on 200 acres with 163,000 panels. In the Dorset Echo article 'Masts the past in solar farm future for Rampisham'  The current application for a massive solar ‘park’ at Rampisham, on the former BBC transmitter site, has exercised a number of members. Amongst the worries are the damage caused by spraying weedkiller on grassland which has remained largely undisturbed since the 1940s and the visual intrusion if panels are allowed beyond a certain level of the south-facing slopes. We have submitted our reservations about the application given that the site is in the AONB, although we accept that its use has, for many years, meant that the site is, effectively, a brownfield site. We have also complained to West Dorset District Council that work started on the demolition of some of the towers, together with the building of posts for the panels, even before the date for comments on the scheme had closed.

Read Dorset CPRE’s response to application PA 1/D/12/001664 Rampisham 40 MW Solar Park. The application was updated on 8th July 2014. Dorset CPRE has sent a litter of objection. Dorset CPRE requested a call-in on decision following approval on 15th January 2015.  30th June 2015 A public inquiry is to be held into the proposed solar farm following a government decision.

8th January 2017
Plans for the solar ‘park’ at Rampisham Down have been withdrawn by the developer, British Solar Renewables. They have been given permission to build on a smaller site nearby, on condition they withdraw the original scheme.


Members will be aware that this scheme has been slightly reduced in size and the application for turbines moved further offshore. Our stance has been not to comment on this application as an organisation. The reasoning behind this is that we are not a marine organisation, but one concerned with planning and the landscape. Our Purbeck & Poole Group has registered its objections to the proposed Navitus Bay Wind Farm project in the light of serious concerns about the proposals. There are also a number of very active action groups opposing it and the website of Challenge Navitus is

11th September 2015: The proposals have been rejected following an enquiry by The Planning Inspectorate. The Department for Energy and Climate Change  announced its decision to refuse Development Consent for the Navitus Bay Wind Park.

Stop the Drop. Dorset under threat.
 Useful links:

The increase of inappropriate wind farms and solar PV parks threatens to severely damage our matchless countryside. 'Speak out for the countryside, sign our Charter now'.

Please visit the Save Our Silton and DART (Dorset Against Rural Turbines) web sites to read facts on Wind Turbines and to access presentation material.

CPRE Northamptonshire’s paper on ‘Windfarms time to change direction?’

List of articles published in   the Dorset Echo.

CPRE’s view  on Large-scale renewables
Wind Turbines & Solar Farms. Join Dorset CPRE.