Charmouth Stores is asking permission for seventeen ground-mounted solar panels in its rear garden.

The planning request, submitted to Dorset Council, will also involve the removal of a timber shed.

An application say the panels would be mounted in five rows of 3 panels and one row with 2 panels, over an area of 72 square metres.

The business, in The Street, has been run by the existing owners since 2005 and is described by a planning agent as “a cherished community asset” whose services include home delivery for those unable to get to the store.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: The area the solar panels would sit, if approved 

The agent says that the garden area has been un-used for some time and is currently overgrown and is suitable for the panels, making more productive use of the space, with nature screening likely to be added to mask the outlook from a neighbouring property.

Calculations in the planning application suggest the panels would save 3,200kg of carbon dioxide each year with a financial benefit in power bills of £3,100 a year, amounting to £122,200 over the estimated lifetime of the panels.

Much of the energy will be used for a new refrigeration system in the shop, helping to keep overheads down and allowing the owners to, effectively, pass on some of the savings to its customers.

Public comments on the proposals remain open, via the Dorset Council website, until March 8th.