Solar farm faces opposition from concerned villagers

An example of a solar farm. Library image.
An example of a solar farm. Library image.
  • Campaign is launched against proposed community solar farm
  • Those behind the project say it will generate funds for community projects
  • Objectors fear it will transform the village and pave the way for more developments

A campaign group has been launched in a bid to stop plans for a village solar farm that opposers say will transform rural life.

Objectors to the Harrold solar project fear the scheme on agricultural land could pave the way for other development.

It is going to change the character of the rural landscape.

Mathew Sumpton

Mathew Sumpton, who is a member of ‘Save Ourcountryside’ said: “This is a beautiful part of the world.

“It is a very rural area and this is a huge industrial site, the size of 30 football pitches.

“It is going to be almost impossible to screen off, so it is going to have a huge visual impact. It is going to change the character of the rural landscape.”

Around 100 people have so far registered with the campaign group, which was formed just last week.

They will be distributing leaflets to all homes in the village to set out their concerns and urge people to object to the scheme’s planning application.

If given the green light around 19,000 solar panels will be installed on farmland to the north of Harrold.

The project is expected to generate up to £40,000 each year for community causes but first £5 million needs to be raised to get the scheme up and running.

Objectors fear that if those behind the energy initiative - a group made up of villagers who have formed HARE (Harrold Renewable Energy) - fail to raise the cash the project will be sold on as a commercial development.

But Mark Payne from HARE says they have an exclusivity deal with solar farm developer 3C Energy, which is leading the planning application.

HARE is working with 3C Energy to bring the project to fruition with the support of Bath and West Community Energy.

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