Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting EJ NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
120 letters of objection to planned solar farm
9:00am Friday 18th January 2013 in News
CONTROVERSIAL plans for a 16,000 solar panel farm in a Cotswold village have attracted more than 120 letters of objection.
Angry residents have written to Cotswold District Council (CDC) opposing plans put forward by MS Projects for the installation of two-and-a halfmetre- high photovoltaic panels on land at Norton Hall, just off Broad Marston Road, Mickleton.
The plans, which are set to be discussed by CDC’s planning committee meeting on Wednesday, February 13, include control buildings, cabling, twometre- high fencing and a CCTV system.
Since the proposals became public, residents have met with Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton- Brown to discuss their concerns as well as holding numerous meetings.
Kris Clarke, who lives in the village, said: “What we can learn from other areas of the country is that if this goes ahead there is every chance that many more applications for large-scale solar panel developments will follow.”
“If this development goes ahead, there is a good chance that there will be a rush of new applications, potentially covering our countryside with fields of solar panels rather than crops. Shouldn’t we be protecting our countryside for future generations and using brownfield sites before taking arable land?”
Mickleton Parish Council has also lodged an objection with CDC amid concerns over flooding and proximity of the development to other houses.
Chairman John Franklin said he was not surprised by the number of objection letters.
“I know there’s been an awful lot of interest,” he said. “It will certainly make the planning committee think whether to go ahead with it or not.”
Larry Mark, development director at applicant MS Power Projects, said he had referred the issues of concern to their consultants.
“We will shortly be sending back to the planning committee our comments which will allay the fears of local residents,” he said.
He added they were writing a detailed planting scheme which would minimise any views of the development from Broad Marston Road and the homes of nearby residents.
To view the plans visit cotswold.gov.uk and follow the links to planning.