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Landscape Sensitivity to Wind and Solar Energy Development in Christchurch and East Dorset

A study has been prepared to help assess the potential effect of onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) energy developments on landscape character in Christchurch and East Dorset.

Separate documents are available for each council area:

The landscape is assessed on the basis of the subdivision of the district and borough into landscape character areas (LCAs) as identified in the East Dorset Landscape Character Assessment (2008) and Christchurch Borough Wide Landscape Assessment (2003).  These are organised within the landscape character types (LCTs) identified in the Dorset Landscape Character Assessment.

It is intended that the study will initially be used to provide guidance to inform the development of design proposals, though in the future the councils may look to use it to develop policies in future planning documents or prepare a supplementary planning document.

Wind and solar power are two of the more mature forms of renewable energy which have seen considerable growth across the UK in recent years. Planning applications for both types of installation have been submitted in several parts of Dorset and councils want to ensure that renewable energy development takes place in the most appropriate locations, and landscape sensitivity is a key element in this. It should be noted that the study relates to landscape sensitivity only, and does not address other areas of potential environmental impact or other non-landscape considerations which might affect the feasibility of this form of renewable energy development.

Land Use Consultants (LUC) were commissioned to undertake the study for four Dorset council areas: East Dorset District, Christchurch Borough, Purbeck District and North Dorset District. A common methodology has been employed across all four districts, but results presented as separate reports for each council.

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