Plans for solar farm near Bournemouth airport approved

Plans for a new 120-acre solar farm near Bournemouth Airport in Dorset have been approved by Christchurch council.

The firm behind it, British Solar Renewables, said the 20 megawatts farm would generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 5,000 homes.

The 48.5 hectare site at Chapel Lane, Parley, is attached to a waste management and recycling facility.

Photovoltaic panels will be mounted on steel frames and arranged in rows, with a maximum height of 2.9m (9.5ft).

British Solar Renewables said the site boundary consists of established woodland and hedges, which would provide natural screening.

The area is equivalent to about 65 football pitches and is currently used for turf-cultivation and growing maize.

Hurn Parish Council, West Parley Parish Council and Barrack Road Residents Association opposed the plans, saying the solar farm was an inappropriate development in the Green Belt.

Natural England and Dorset Wildlife Trust raised no objections.

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