Appeal against refusal of 80-hectare solar farm near Melksham

This Is Wiltshire: An appeal has been lodged against Wiltshire Council’s decision to reject a major solar farm development to the east of Melksham An appeal has been lodged against Wiltshire Council’s decision to reject a major solar farm development to the east of Melksham

An appeal has been lodged against Wiltshire Council’s decision to reject a major solar farm development to the east of Melksham.

In April the council’s strategic planning committee turned down plans for the proposed 80-hectare site on Sandridge Hill, put forward by developer Sandridge Solar.

Sandridge claims the development could generate enough electricity to power 11,400 average UK homes, but the project was strongly criticised by residents in Seend, who argued it would represent an unwanted “industrialisation of the countryside”.

The application was supported by Melksham Town, Melksham Without Parish and Bromham Parish Councils, but opposed by Seend Parish Council.

The developers will now put their case to a government-appointed planning inspector, in a bid to overturn the decision.

Speaking after permission was denied, Sandridge Solar director St John Hughes said: “It is a robust application that fulfils planning policy and guidelines, and an established need for more renewables in the county.

“The public, local parish councils and town council are strongly in favour of it, and the planning officer has recommended approval, so naturally we will be appealing. The substantial positive benefits for the county and the UK outweighed the minor impacts.”

Comments (10)

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11:41am Thu 17 Jul 14

Trombone stand says...

Ok so are the residents of Seend going to be happy when the lights go off? It's time people woke up and started to invest in renewable energy sources. The Sandridge site is idea for a solar farm, good luck with the appeal, I hope the ostriches in Wiltshire Council learn from their mistakes when this rejection is overturned.
Ok so are the residents of Seend going to be happy when the lights go off? It's time people woke up and started to invest in renewable energy sources. The Sandridge site is idea for a solar farm, good luck with the appeal, I hope the ostriches in Wiltshire Council learn from their mistakes when this rejection is overturned. Trombone stand
  • Score: 2

12:38pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Rural Mike says...

The public of the area have long opposed this development on the grounds of the visual intrusion it represents. The are to the south of the site contains many dwellings, not just Seend. There is a new large housing development on the Sandridge side of Melksham and these panel would have not only been visible from there but also reflect the glare over that whole area. Localism should apply and if the local people say no we should respect that. PV panels are too 'industrial' for a rural farming area. If you want renewable energy using PV then put them on the roof of buildings where they are less intrusive to the landscape.
I support the rejection of the planning application.
The public of the area have long opposed this development on the grounds of the visual intrusion it represents. The are to the south of the site contains many dwellings, not just Seend. There is a new large housing development on the Sandridge side of Melksham and these panel would have not only been visible from there but also reflect the glare over that whole area. Localism should apply and if the local people say no we should respect that. PV panels are too 'industrial' for a rural farming area. If you want renewable energy using PV then put them on the roof of buildings where they are less intrusive to the landscape. I support the rejection of the planning application. Rural Mike
  • Score: -5

1:22pm Thu 17 Jul 14

New 2 Trow says...

"The public, local parish councils and town council are strongly in favour of it, and the planning officer has recommended approval, so naturally we will be appealing. "

I hope the WT will report the costs to the council of this,! Every appeal costs the council money and its about time stupid committee overturns are scrutinised in terms of how much money is 'wasted' on paying these rather than being spent on services!
"The public, local parish councils and town council are strongly in favour of it, and the planning officer has recommended approval, so naturally we will be appealing. " I hope the WT will report the costs to the council of this,! Every appeal costs the council money and its about time stupid committee overturns are scrutinised in terms of how much money is 'wasted' on paying these rather than being spent on services! New 2 Trow
  • Score: -1

1:50pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Mrs Donnyfly says...

Trombone stand wrote:
Ok so are the residents of Seend going to be happy when the lights go off? It's time people woke up and started to invest in renewable energy sources. The Sandridge site is idea for a solar farm, good luck with the appeal, I hope the ostriches in Wiltshire Council learn from their mistakes when this rejection is overturned.
I don't think there's any real danger of the lights going off if this site doesn't go ahead. In fact if we were to rely on solar energy then there would be less chance of the light being on in the first place.
[quote][p][bold]Trombone stand[/bold] wrote: Ok so are the residents of Seend going to be happy when the lights go off? It's time people woke up and started to invest in renewable energy sources. The Sandridge site is idea for a solar farm, good luck with the appeal, I hope the ostriches in Wiltshire Council learn from their mistakes when this rejection is overturned.[/p][/quote]I don't think there's any real danger of the lights going off if this site doesn't go ahead. In fact if we were to rely on solar energy then there would be less chance of the light being on in the first place. Mrs Donnyfly
  • Score: -5

4:11pm Thu 17 Jul 14

bigbadjohn says...

Why not build a nuclear power station on the site, that would be far more efficient than a solar farm.
Why not build a nuclear power station on the site, that would be far more efficient than a solar farm. bigbadjohn
  • Score: 9

4:55pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Mrs Donnyfly says...

"It's time people woke up and started to invest in renewable energy sources."

Baaaaaa
"It's time people woke up and started to invest in renewable energy sources." Baaaaaa Mrs Donnyfly
  • Score: -15

8:50pm Thu 17 Jul 14

melkshamwizard says...

if these solar panels are so good why are they not fitted to every new house thats built ,it would avoid all this fuss,the only reason i can think of is all the big profits these companies would loose,
if these solar panels are so good why are they not fitted to every new house thats built ,it would avoid all this fuss,the only reason i can think of is all the big profits these companies would loose, melkshamwizard
  • Score: 2

9:47am Fri 18 Jul 14

WiltshireGlory says...

New 2 Trow wrote:
"The public, local parish councils and town council are strongly in favour of it, and the planning officer has recommended approval, so naturally we will be appealing. "

I hope the WT will report the costs to the council of this,! Every appeal costs the council money and its about time stupid committee overturns are scrutinised in terms of how much money is 'wasted' on paying these rather than being spent on services!
The public are NOT in favour of this enormous industrialisation of our inhabited rural area. The majority of the comments on this planning application were opposed to this development. Seend is the most affected community and therefore rightly Seend PC voted against and 300 people in Seend signed a petition opposing this development.

Renewables can be a useful part of our energy supply but they must be done in a responsible way that does not dramatically change the landscape we all live in . Solar farms should be constructed in a discreet and sensitive way where they blend in. Sandridge Solar at 198 acres on a hillside certainly does not fit the bill.
[quote][p][bold]New 2 Trow[/bold] wrote: "The public, local parish councils and town council are strongly in favour of it, and the planning officer has recommended approval, so naturally we will be appealing. " I hope the WT will report the costs to the council of this,! Every appeal costs the council money and its about time stupid committee overturns are scrutinised in terms of how much money is 'wasted' on paying these rather than being spent on services![/p][/quote]The public are NOT in favour of this enormous industrialisation of our inhabited rural area. The majority of the comments on this planning application were opposed to this development. Seend is the most affected community and therefore rightly Seend PC voted against and 300 people in Seend signed a petition opposing this development. Renewables can be a useful part of our energy supply but they must be done in a responsible way that does not dramatically change the landscape we all live in . Solar farms should be constructed in a discreet and sensitive way where they blend in. Sandridge Solar at 198 acres on a hillside certainly does not fit the bill. WiltshireGlory
  • Score: 1

1:21pm Mon 21 Jul 14

New 2 Trow says...

"The majority of the comments on this planning application were opposed to this development" Yeah because that's how planning policy works!
"The majority of the comments on this planning application were opposed to this development" Yeah because that's how planning policy works! New 2 Trow
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Tue 22 Jul 14

AuntieNimby says...

You're all a bunch of Nimby's. Embrace change, move with the times and think of the future generations. As bigbadjohn says. "Would you rather have a power station there and a village of protesters.
You're all a bunch of Nimby's. Embrace change, move with the times and think of the future generations. As bigbadjohn says. "Would you rather have a power station there and a village of protesters. AuntieNimby
  • Score: 1

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