“Ugly” and “intrusive” are among the words used to describe a solar farm that could be on the cards for farmland near Leamington and Warwick amidst reaction to the plan.
Sun Glow Power has applied to Warwick District Council to build a solar farm with 16,216 solar panels on land at Brickyard Barn in Mallory Road, Bishops Tachbrook.
And the council’s planning committee, which is due to make a decision on Tuesday (November 5), has been advised by planning officials to give their consent to the plan.
Sun Glow Power says the 25-year scheme would generate 4.1 Mw of power. The dark blue glass panels - each one up to 2m high - would be arranged in rows running across the field, covering 82,000 sq m.
In its application, the firm states: “It is evident that the proposed development would not harm the distinctive landscape features associated with the site and the surrounding area.
“Existing woodland and trees on the site would be retained and the large-scale planting scheme would help to increase the local woodland, while simultaneously screening the site.”
The plans also include the planting of new hedgerow and a 2m high landscape embankment.
But with only 80m between the edge of the site and the closest home, many people living in the surrounding area have voiced their opposition to the plan.
Bishops Tachbrook parish council, in its letter to the district council, says that the solar panels would be “far too close” to homes, they would be “ugly”, “intrusive” and “a blot on the landscape”.
The district council has also received a petition with 159 signatures against the plan - although 99 of the people who signed the petition stated that they would accept a proposal with a smaller number of solar panels in the field furthest from the village.
Many people have raised concerns about the potential for explosions and fires and reflection and glare.
People have also complained that the firm’s public consultation was “too discreet” and it has been pointed out that the district council’s Local Plan does not include a solar farm.
But planning officer Liam D’Onofrio has advised councillors sitting on the planning committee: “In the opinion of the local planning authority, the proposal will have limited impact on the visual amenities of the area and neighbouring amenity and will help to meet the Government’s objectives by increasing supplies of renewable energy, thus reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”
The meeting on Tuesday takes place at Leamington town hall at 6pm.