Green Light for Solar Farm from Purbeck District Council

A solar farm that will generate enough clean electricity to power 1,500 homes has been given the green light by planners.

Renewable electricity supplier and generator Good Energy has received the go-ahead from Purbeck District Council to develop a 5.8MW solar farm at the Oaklands Plantation, just north of Wareham.

The scheme will make a valuable contribution towards meeting Dorset’s renewable energy targets while enhancing Britain's energy security.

Its development will also release an annual £5,000 to be spent in the community by local people – for the 30 year lifetime of the project.

Hugo House, Good Energy's senior project developer, said: “We are very happy that this scheme has been backed not only by the planners but also the local community.

“Our solar farm will help make a significant contribution towards Dorset’s renewable energy targets.

“Councillors and local residents who backed our plans have shown their own commitment to a future where more electricity is supplied by green and clean sources.”

The site at Oaklands is very well-screened, positioned between a landfill site and a commercial forest. Approximately 20,000 solar panels will be installed across the 20 hectares of land which is currently used as a Christmas tree plantation, grazing pasture and a motorcross track.

The land surrounding the panels will be recreated as grassland which can be grazed by sheep and will be managed to improve its quality and biodiversity.

Some areas of the site will also be adapted to recreate heathland and a wetland area will be introduced to provide habitat for heathland species. These measures will provide valuable new habitats for a variety of wildlife.

Purbeck District Council’s planning report on the scheme concluded that the solar farm met its policy which positively supports appropriate development of renewable energy schemes and the promotion of a strong rural economy, including farm diversification.

The application also received the support of Wareham St Martin Parish Council and attracted 26 letters of support from residents.

Construction of the Oaklands solar farm, which will operate for 30 years, will get underway in spring next year.

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