AN £80 MILLION scheme to develop a solar farm on the edge of Pershore has been given the green light by councillors.
The 120,000 panel park, which will be the largest seen in Wychavon, is set to be built at the Defford Aerodrome on Rebecca Road in Besford after Wychavon District Council’s planning committee approved the plans last Thursday (November 6).
Up to 12,000 homes will be supplied with energy through the proposals however some committee members were disappointed ‘consistency’ was not shown after previous plans to build a solar farm in nearby Wickhamford were knocked
Coun Adrian Darby said: “This comes after another application we had for a smaller site at Wickhamford which was about two thirds the size of this one, that was 40 hectares and this one is 60 hectares.
“Our reason before (for refusal) was the development would result in an alien site in a rural and urban landscape. I think we have to be consistent.
“I don’t see how we can turn that down and then accept a larger one.”
Despite Coun Darby’s call for consistency, Coun Margaret Rowley was one to go against his feelings.
“I am afraid I am going to be inconsistent,” she said. “I felt Wickhamford was in one large block, but this one seems to be much more spread across the area and contain a difference with the layout.”
Revised plans came before councillors with panels which had been reduced in size to just 1.5 metres at their highest, but objector Jayne Cadbury, of Besford, raised concerns over the damage it would cause to the historic buildings in the village.
Coun Ken Jennings dispelled her worries and said he had ‘no problem’ with the development.
“I am going to be very consistent with my views on this,” he added. “I supported the Wickhamford one and I am going to support this one.
“I don’t particularly like these schemes but I see no problem with them on a planning basis. In my view there will be no damage to the listed buildings.
“My main concern with the Wickhamford one was we were going to be losing good agricultural land but that doesn’t appear to be the case here.”
A total of ten councillors approved the proposals, with four voting against it.