Battery storage facility planned for farm site south of Verwood

A battery storage facility is being put forward for a farm site at West Moors, just south of Verwood.

Dorset Council has been asked to consider a proposal for a 98MW energy storage system north of Sturts Farm, West Moors Road – 560m southeast of Three Legged Cross and within a kilometre of the Ministry of Defence base.

The application, from Bluestone Energy, for the 1.7 hectare site, has yet to reach the stage where a formal planning request has been submitted with the council only being asked to consider if a full environmental factors report is needed.

Similar battery storage sites already exist, or have permission, in the county including one near the Dorset-Devon border and another on the outskirts of Shaftesbury.

The batteries, usually housed in container-like buildings, take in energy when there is excess power being generated for the National Grid, releasing it into the system at times of need.

The site, if approved, will have a battery compound with ancillary equipment protected by a 2.4m fence, with underground cable links to the Mannington electricity substation to the immediate north of the site.

Road access will be via West Moors Road and the access track to Sturts Farm, although visits from maintenance staff are expected to be infrequent once the storage system has been constructed, should it gain planning consent.

A report to Dorset Council on the plans said: “The proposal will be designed to minimise and mitigate any potential impact on the character of the area and will incorporate enhancement measures into the scheme. This will be through the use of planting as well as making use of the existing landscape features on site. Therefore, avoiding the removal of the existing hedgerow to the middle of the site, providing two separate development parcels, and using existing gaps in the hedgerow for access/cabling as far as possible.”

Dorset Council, in response to the request, says that in view of the development being unlikely to result in significant environmental impacts a full Environmental Impact Assessment for the site will not be needed.

Photos Courtesy Bluestone Energy/Adas Ltd

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