Little Chalfield solar farm plan angers villagers
Updated 2:01pm Saturday 30th August 2014 in By Amber Hicks, Corsham and Melksham reporter
Opponents of plans for a 25 hectare solar farm at Little Chalfield hope to convince councillors to throw the scheme out next week.
Wiltshire Council planning officer Alison Hall has recommended members of Wiltshire Council’s western area planning committee approve the project for arable land west of Ganbrook Farm in Broughton Gifford when they meet on Wednesday, saying it would produce enough electricity to power 2,500 homes a year.
However, opponents, which including parish councils of Atworth and Broughton Gifford, argue that it would take a visual toll on the landscape and result in more traffic.
Little Chalfield resident Phillip Addis has been campaigning against the scheme by developers Sun Edison and Solar Planning Limited and will be present his arguments against on Wednesday.
He said: “We will highlight the cumulative impact that up to 15 solar farms within six miles of Melksham will have – with seven within 5kms of the site – and to disagree with the Wiltshire landscape architect who seems to support the view that if you can’t see one from the other there is no impact.
“It doesn’t have any community support and goes against government advice.”
Wiltshire councillor Terry Chivers (Melksham Without North) said: “Enough is enough. It has no support locally and I’m disappointed for the recommendation... the decision is totally wrong.”
In recommending the plan Ms Hall said the land was low grade arable and wildflowers would be planted between the panels for sheep to graze.
She said the permission would last 25 years after which the land would revert to agricultural use.
“On balance this development has medium to low susceptibility to change the landscape,” she said.
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