Posted by: dorsetcpre | June 2, 2015

Mapperton Farm Solar Park PLANNING APPLICATION 3/13/0681/FUL

An urgent request from Stephen Howard, Chair of Trustees, Dorset CPRE

We wrote to our Dorset CPRE members in 2013 and asked for their support to defeat the proposal for the Mapperton Farm solar park, on land owned by South Dorset MP Richard Drax. Despite the proposer losing a legal battle that prevented the development from going ahead, the proposal has been resubmitted, little changed, and it will seriously damage unspoilt beautiful countryside, just south of Blandford.

The size of the development site remains the same at 175 acres, equivalent to 110 soccer pitches, although the output of the solar park has been reduced by a derisory 14%. If built, it would still be the second largest in Dorset. Last time the response was over 500 objections but we need to do even better this time. Your objection is essential – without it we will not succeed in stopping this harmful proposal.
Dorset CPRE is in favour of renewable energy – provided it is not unacceptably damaging to the landscape, to heritage assets or to the amenity of local people. We believe that this application is hugely damaging.

Protestors - New Mapperton Solar Farm Proposal facing strong opposition

Protestors – New Mapperton Solar Farm Proposal facing strong opposition

The scheme has met with strong opposition from the local community over concerns for landscape, visual impact, social amenity and use of “best and most versatile” agricultural land. Dr David Pope, a resident at Winterborne Zelston 700 m from the site, said:” the vast size will lead to a loss of visual amenity, both locally and cumulatively, given other installations across Dorset”.

Dorset CPRE is backing local objectors but we need you to get involved and write opposing the proposed development and, just as importantly, your friends, neighbours and relatives also. With, and only with your help, can we achieve well over 500 objections.

Amongst the reasons for objection are the following:

  • Adverse visual impact.
  • This huge solar park should not be located in the Mapperton Stour Valley Area of Great
    Landscape Value, a protected landscape.
  • Social amenity would be adversely impacted by reduced enjoyment of footpaths around, and a bridleway running through the site.
  • No solar park should be built on the nation’s precious best and most versatile agricultural land. Other sites are available in Dorset with poorer soil.
View from Grade II* Listed Charborough Park towards proposed Mapperton Solar Farm

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

We would also argue that Dorset local authorities should be much more cautious now in approving any further renewable energy sites thanks to the great strides taken to meet an assumed 7.5% Renewable Energy Target for 2020, primarily due to the recent approval of 37 solar parks. As of 27 March 2015 the County has achieved 85% of this target, based on
installations of all types that have gained planning approval and are either operational, under construction or awaiting construction.

PLEASE SEND a letter of OBJECTION to the Planning Application, in support of the local residents and our landscape – either online, by email or by post.

ONLINE: Go to You will then be asked to register, if you have not previously done so, before leaving a comment.
EMAIL: You can email the Case Officer, James Brightman at  Please quote the application number 3/13/0681/FUL, and provide name and address including a postcode.

ROYAL MAIL: The letter can be handwritten or typed or a proforma. They all have the same status. If a proforma, we strongly encourage you to add a handwritten comment in order to personalise the letter (for example, suggest damage to heritage assets may be a problem too). All you need do is PRINT your name and address at the top – don’t forget the postcode – and SIGN AT THE BOTTOM. Please post direct to East Dorset District Council or return to our Freepost address: Freepost RTLK-UBRZ-THYT, Dorset CPRE, PO Box 9018, Dorchester, DT1 9GY we will forward them to East Dorset District Council.
The greatest impact can be obtained by:
Stating that you OBJECT to the proposal and providing a valid planning reason, such as one selected from the above. Reasons related to, for example, subsidies, the intermittent nature of wind turbines and potential impact on property values are not valid in this context.

Making sure that only ONE PERSON signs an objection. If responding by Royal Mail, make sure each objector signs a SEPARATE LETTER. It is NOT necessary to put each objection into a separate envelope. If by email please send a separate email for each objector.

We believe the final date for writing is 9th June 2015. If they haven’t already done so, please send in their objections and any others that you can garner from neighbours, relatives and friends by 9th June.
Thank you in advance for supporting this campaign.

May 2015 update: 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. Dr David Peacock has sent a response to the application on behalf of Dorset CPRE to James Brightman, Case Officer, EDDC.

Stephen Howard, Dorset CPRE, Chair of Trustees

We would love to receive your feedback

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: