The site would span 40 acres near Maiden Newton, Dorset. Image: Pxhere.

Clean energy solutions company Enviromena will launch an appeal against Dorset Council’s decision to reject planning proposals for a 11.8MW solar installation spanning 40-acres at Cruxton Farm near Maiden Newton.

Despite obtaining “full backing” from the local parish council, Dorset Planning Committee voted 8-3 against plans for the Cruxton solar project.

The decision was made on the grounds that “its visual impact would prove detrimental to the landscape” despite members of Enviromena highlighting that “the significant benefits of the project outweighed any perceived harmful visual impact from selected viewpoints.”

According to analysis from Solar Media, the “detrimental visual impact on landscape” is the most common reason for a solar farm failing to get planning permission.

“We are bitterly disappointed with the decision” said Mark Harding, European development director of Enviromena, who added that the company wholly believed that the submission “met all of the criteria for development in the AONB.”

Enviromena will now begin an appeal that will “ensure an outcome which not only recognises the need to satisfy local conditions but supports the urgent national agenda of delivering sustainable, renewable energy.”

A number of solar farms are being developed in Dorset, with Voltalia winning Contracts for Difference support to develop two solar farms at Clifton Farm in Dorset earlier this year. Whilst Dorset Council also granted planning permission for a Eco Hub development from Naturalis, which included a 15MW solar farm, in January.