TWO industrial areas in Bridport are among sites highlighted as having power supply problems.

It came as councillors learnt power supply to parts of Dorset could get worse in the future as electric networks become under greater pressure.

Dorset councillors were told that some of the county’s industrial estates are already at capacity and even some household needs are becoming difficult  – including for those who want to put in electric charge points for cars and for heat exchangers.

Problem areas for supply are said to include St Michael’s and the Dreadnought industrial estates in Bridport.

Councillors have been told that the additional costs of upgrading power supplies to houses range from £300 to £3,000 – a cost said to be likely to deter many from moving to ‘greener’ energy.

Said Dorset Council place and resources scrutiny chairman Cllr Shane Bartlett: “It does seem strange in the 21st century we are struggling to get capacity.”

He said it might appear to some that network providers were dragging their feet over better supplies in some areas.

Councillors agreed the suppliers will be asked to attend to a future meeting to explain their strategy, current capacity problems and how they hope to overcome problem in some areas.

Corporate director Matthew Piles said that the council needed to understand what the possible obstacles were to better supply if it wanted to achieve its development and climate change ambitions.

The committee heard that the electricity networks had not responded to the recent consultation on the revised Dorset Plan, although the meeting was told that whatever developments are proposed the network providers would be legally obliged to provide for it.

A request is now expected to go to Cabinet for the council to find around £50,000 for a consultant report into the problems across rural Dorset and the best way of achieving a better network supply – together with ways of putting energy back into the grid, via solar and windfarms, as well as from photovoltaic panels on the roofs of houses.

Cllr Carol Jones told the meeting that there were pressing problems in supply at the North Dorset Business Park at Sturminster Newton which could constrain growth of the site and asked for a better supply to be considered a priority for the area, including the town.

Corporate executive director for place Jon Sellgren admitted there was the potential, across the county, for growth to be held back in some areas by the lack of an adequate energy supply.

Other problem areas for supply in the Dorset Council area are said to include: Grove Industrial Estate in Dorchester; Granby Industrial Estate in Weymouth (Chickerell); Portland Port; Dorset Innovation Park at Winfrith; Brickfields in Gillingham; North Dorset Business Park and supply to Sturminster Newton; Holton Heath Trading Park.