Decision due on controversial village solar farm

Library image.

Library image.

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Proposals for a village solar farm have been recommended for refusal by planning officers.

The planning application for farmland in Harrold is due to go before Bedford Borough Council’s planning committee on Monday (July 27).

It has already divided the village in two with disagreements between those in favour of the project and those opposed.

Such was the strength of feeling that Harrold Parish Council held a referendum to decide how it would respond to the planning application.

There was a difference of just 10 votes with 266 voting against the proposal, which meant the parish council formally objected to the plan. This will be taken into consideration when it is looked at by the committee.

In total Bedford Borough Council has received 246 responses to the proposal from residents. Of these, 164 raised objections and 82 expressed their support.

Officers have recommended that the committee refuse permission on the grounds that it ‘fails to provide the most compelling evidence that the development of the best and most versatile land in lieu of poorer quality land is necessary’, which goes against national planning policy.