Solar farm bid aims to answer Neston residents’ fears
1:00pm Thursday 27th March 2014 in By Court reporter
The applicant behind a proposed 14-acre solar farm in Neston has said he listened to the concerns of opponents before resubmitting the plans.
Tim Barton’s previous bid to build static solar panels on his land at Manor Farm was rejected in January after neighbours complained it would have a negative impact on the landscape.
The farmer, who also owns Wadswick County Store, is trying again to get planning permission for the development and believes all concerns have been addressed.
He said: “We listened to the voices of the opponents and the main objection seemed to be about the proximity to Wadswick Lane.
“We have now come back 24m from the lane minimum, and wider on the two bends. We are also putting in a bridleway on that side so people can use the bridleway on the field.
“There is also a footpath right round the outside and a schooling area for the local schools and clubs which people can come visit, with notice boards on the education of solar panels and renewable energy.”
The amended plans reduced the number of panels on the site by 30 per cent, and will see the site surrounded by Miscanthus, or Elephant Grass, which will be planted around the perimeter.
Mr Barton said: “This isn’t some big company coming in and doing this, it’s a family farm business. I am the second generation to have farmed here, and both my children are involved in the business.
“The solar farm will be used for green energy heating. The lights are going to go out soon, and with events we’ve seen in Russia that’s even more important. We are investing in the future of the farm, and we have listened to the objectors and reacted accordingly.”
The plans will go to Corsham Town and Box Parish Councils, before Wiltshire Council’s planning committee has its say.