NEIGHBOURS and the parish council have objected to proposed changes at Charmouth Stores, including fitting 20 solar panels.

Some say condenser units being asked for could be noisy and the solar panels, proposed for a roof and also in the garden, would be unsightly.

The Stores say they need the new condenser units for new chiller and freezer boxes. The solar panels will go on a roof above a flat and the condenser units on a flat roof above the storeroom, if approved.

The business, in The Street, is also asking Dorset Council for permission to demolish two sheds in the garden, putting 10 solar panels in the same area.

In its comments on the application the parish council say it is concerned about the potential increase in noise by adding additional condenser fans and says that the ground mounted solar panels are unacceptable in a residential area: “The proposed installation will adversely, greatly impact on the visual setting of Stanley House as well as (to a lesser extent) Rupert House. These two houses, whilst not being listed buildings, are identified as 'Important Local Buildings? in the Charmouth Conservation Area Appraisal,” said the parish council in its statement.

It has not objected to the proposed panels on the rear roof of the Stores but has asked for the Dorset Council conservation officer to give an opinion on this aspect of the application.

Said one neighbour in an objection letter: “The proposed development would cause further deterioration to the amenity of residents at Prospect Place and the nearby Star House and Star Cottage. This increase in noise is unsustainable in any residential area…People have the right to live in peace in their homes and it is the responsibility of government (delegated to local councils like Dorset) to protect that right.”

Said another neighbour: “The garden solar panels would be clearly visible over the Northern boundary wall from our first floor bedroom and bathroom windows. We are therefore very concerned about the visual impact of these solar panels and our outlook which would be severely compromised. We brought the house in a residential area and feel that this change will significantly alter our views in a negative way.”

A final decision is expected to be made by a planning officer although local councillors can ask for the application to be decided by a planning committee.