Agenda item

Application No: P/FUL/2022/05708 - Land west of Atrim Road, Dottery, Dorset, DT6 5HS

Installation of ground mounted photovoltaic (PV) units on galvanised steel table frameworks arranged into 12 arrays, with inverter in GRP enclosure, fencing, cameras, revised access, landscape and biodiversity mitigation


The Senior Planning Officer presented the application for the installation of ground mounted photovoltaic units on land west of Atrium Road.


Members were shown the location plan of the site, displaying the boundaries of the site in question and the surrounding area, as well as an ariel view of the site. Landscape proposals were shown to members, indicating the planned landscape mitigation around the border of the site, with the intention of screening views from the North and West of the site.


The Senior Planning Officer presented photographs of the site from various viewpoints in the surrounding area, including a nearby public footpath.


The main planning issues were:

·       The impact on residential amenity was considered to be limited due to the modest scale of the development providing no major overbearing impact on neighbouring residential properties and a condition which restricted the view of cameras away from properties.

·       The effect on agricultural land was thought to be modest due to the 40 year life-span of the PV panels and the ability for the continued use of the land for grazing.

·       There was thought to be no major impact on local heritage sites due to the listed buildings being situated an appropriate distance from the development.

·       There were no objections from the Highways Department and a Traffic Management Plan had been included with the application to mitigate impacts during the construction phase.


Oral representation in opposition to the application were received from Mr John Davies, Mr Clive Faircloth and Mr John Dean.


Their concerns focused on the negative impact that the development would have on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the loss of use of suitable agricultural land and the limited benefits in terms of renewable energy production.


Oral representations in support of the application were received from Mr Peter West, Mr Malcom Drew and Ms Lisa Jackson, the agent for the applicant.


In response to questions from members the Senior Planning Officer informed the committee that:

·       The development could provide energy to around 200 homes.

·       The site would require limited maintenance consisting of a weekly visit from an engineer.

·       There was no fund set aside for the decommissioning of the site after the 40-year timeframe should the applicant no longer be trading.

·       It was not certain that the land on the site was grade 1 agricultural land due to there being insufficient data, however it was likely that the land was of a high quality for agricultural use and could be reinstated for agricultural use once the panels have been removed.


Cllr Clayton left the Council Chamber and did not take part in the debate or vote.


Several members expressed support for the application, noting the need to produce more energy, particularly renewable energy and the benefits that this would provide to the local community, in respect to rising energy bills.


One member expressed concern over the impact on the AONB and the loss of high-grade agricultural land should the development be approved and noted that it would be preferable to install solar panels on existing buildings, so as not to remove agricultural land from use.


Proposed by Cllr Ireland and seconded by Cllr Kimber.


Decision: That the application was granted subject to the conditions outlined in the appendix to these minutes.



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