Joy as solar farm plan is rejected

Cotswold Journal: PLACARDS: Some of the villagers who protested against the proposed solar farm in Mickleton PLACARDS: Some of the villagers who protested against the proposed solar farm in Mickleton

THERE were joyful scenes in Mickleton after plans for an 11,500 solar panel farm were thrown out.

Cotswold District Council’s (CDC) planning committee have voted against proposals for the installation of the two-and-half-metre- high photovoltaic panels on land at Norton Hall, off Broad Marston Road.

Nine members voted to reject the plans put forward by MS Power Projects, with five backing the development, despite it being recommended for approval by the planning officer. Councillors refused the application because of the detrimental impact on the landscape and views from the hills surrounding Mickleton, as well as the impact on residents living nearby.

Residents have fought hard against the plans with about 220 letters of objection received and only four in support.

Villager Kris Clarke, who has been rallying residents to write to CDC in opposition, said it was fantastic news.

“Everyone’s ecstatic,” she said. “I think people do pull together in the village.

But at the same time we are not against solar, we never have been.

“It’s about putting it in the right place and that field was not.

“It was affecting people’s houses and lives. There are other fields that could have been looked into but haven’t been.”

Max Wiltshire, Broad Marston Road resident, said: “I think it was a good and balanced decision.

“The debate the councillors had was very measured and people spoke from both points of view.

The fact they felt it wasn’t in the right place was correct.”

Councillor Lynden Stowe, Campden Vale ward member at CDC, spoke against the application.

“It was clear from the level of objections that the people of Mickleton did not want this solar park forced on them,” he said.

“It was my job to make sure that their democratic voice was heard loud and clear by the planning committee.”

Larry Mark, development director at MS Power Projects, declined to comment.

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