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Latest solar farm plan sparks outrage
2:00pm Sunday 17th March 2013 in News
PROPOSALS for a 40-acre solar farm in a Cotswold village have left residents up in arms.
German company Belectric Solar Ltd has submitted plans to Cotswold District Council for the installation of 66,000 solar panels at Rainbow Farm, Badsey Lane, Willersey.
The plans include collecting station, underground cable for connection to the local electricity network and security fencing.
Angry residents have launched a campaign against the latest proposals which they say is a “significant” development in the Cotswolds.
Simon Evans, aged 46, of Willersey Fields, is co-chairman of the residents’ group.
He said people were upset by the proposals as a lot of villagers lived near the site.
“A lot of residents are deeply concerned,” he said.
“The local community feel very strongly.
“It had a big visual impact and it’s closer to key landmarks like Broadway Tower and Saintbury.
“This development is 40 acres. It’s huge.
“The local community don’t benefit in any shape or form by it.”
Mr Evans said people also had major concerns over the fact that the German company behind the plans has no other sites in the UK.
A number of meetings were held last week in the village to discuss the proposals with more planned this week.
“There’s environment issues too,” said Mr Evans.
“It’s a flood-risk area where they are proposing it. I think everyone is shocked.”
Duncan Bott, director of Belectric Solar Ltd in the UK, said the proposed solar farm would produce enough power for 1,500 homes.
Mr Bott said: “The plot area is 16.5 hectares. Our plot is only going to be 12.6 hectares.
“Our solar panels are smaller than the typical ones and use a slightly different technology, which is lower impact.”
Mr Bott said he was aware concerns had been raised about the plans and said the company would be holding a public consultation at Willersey Parish Hall in the next few weeks to talk to residents.
The deadline for comments is today.
Plans for an 11,500 solarpanel farm in Mickleton were thrown out last month while plans to increase the size of an existing solar farm at Northwick Park, near Chipping Campden, have just been approved.