UK solar farm developer, Solstice Renewables has won unanimous consent to build a 20MW solar farm in Dorset.

The planning committee for East Dorset District Council voted unanimously in favour of the 20MW solar farm to be built near Verwood and to power 6,000 homes.

The 45-hectare site covers four fields of flat, well-screened land – a section of which will be reserved for building wildlife habitats. The solar farm will be dual use, with sheep to graze in the winter, a habitat to be provided for birds; and seeding of wild flowers to encourage bees and butterflies in the summer.

Verwood will also take advantage of the solar park’s community benefit fund of £1,000 per MW installed – estimated to total £400,000 over the solar farm’s lifetime.

Giovanni Maruca, Solstice Renewables’ director, said the committee “recognised the substantial benefits” of the “appropriate” solar development placed in the green belt, protecting the land for 25 years.

Solistice Renewables is currently in the process of proposing another, 10MW solar farm in East Dorset, at Bedborough Farm, near Wimborne. The solar farm would contribute to Dorset’s green energy targets.