Slide right to reveal the February 2021 indicative design and slide left to reveal the July 2021 planning application design
Indicative sketch of Blandford Hill Eco Hub (February 2021)
Indicative sketch of Blandford Hill Eco Hub (July 2021)
The proposed development comprises three main parts. First, an electric vehicle charging station. Second, a ground-mounted solar farm together with all associated equipment and infrastructure. Third, a battery storage system. The EV charging station is an innovative form of technology with only a few other comparable such examples in the country. The location reflects an identified regional 'gap' in charging infrastructure for EVs. It is anticipated the combined capacity of the solar farm and batteries would be circa. 18 megawatts.
The electric vehicle charging station element of the scheme would comprise:
Construction of a new access off the existing lay-by to the south of the A354;
Around 6 ultra-rapid (up to 350kW) and 6 rapid (43-100kW) charging
points with additional fast chargers and Tesla “Superchargers” are proposed providing the ability to charge up to 19 EVs at any one time.
These chargers would allow all types of EVs to charge at the eco hub;
Public rest facilities including public conveniences, a small
café/shop and seating/rest area. Following comments made during
the public consultation process, the proposed two storey building
located near to the covered walkway and canopy of the EV
charging points has been reduced in height to one storey;
All necessary associated development and facilities, including
30 car parking spaces (for EVs as well as non-EVs, to
replace the lost lay-by), hardstanding, landscaping
and outdoor seating.
The solar farm element of the scheme would comprise:
Photovoltaic modules installed on a simple metal framework
mounted on piles driven into the ground, avoiding the need for
substantive foundations. Each would have an overall height of up to 3m
depending on existing ground levels which would be unaltered;
Various buildings (all of single storey height) and associated electrical
equipment and infrastructure necessary for the operation of the solar
farm, including a distribution network operator switching station
building, client switching station building, storage unit and a number of inverter/transformers located across the site with there likely being at least
one in each of the four fields;
Fencing and a CCTV system (looking inwards) within the site boundary would be
installed around the site’s perimeter while access tracks will be constructed within
The battery storage element of the scheme would comprise:
Up to 6 containers located adjacent to the electric vehicle charging station within a fenced compound for safety and security, and to screen the containers from view.
Associated access and hard standing within perimeter
fencing and CCTV.
Electricity generated by the solar farm would be stored in the proposed batteries within the containers and energy released as and when required to the local electricity grid and/or the electric vehicle charging station. The batteries proposed would increase the operational flexibility of the proposed solar farm, facilitate EV charging and potentially provide services to help with the efficient operation of the local electricity system.
An underground grid connection would be installed to connect the project to the local electricity grid at the existing Winterborne Kingston sub-station on West Street approximately 1 mile south of the project.
To ensure safe access to the eco hub and its shop and café facilities for those on foot, a new, permissive footpath would connect the hub with the existing public footpath network on the east of Winterborne Whitechurch. This new public access would run parallel to the A354, with the hedge in between the road and the footpath.
Biodiversity net gain would be achieved by improving the existing hedges on-site using native planting, including new trees and adding a wildflower meadow into the site layout.
Information boards would be installed alongside the seating / dog exercising area educating visitors about the eco hub development.
To view the submitted documentation alongside the planning application, please visit our Downloads page.