Mixed response to solar farm plans after Inkberrow consultation - The Evesham Observer

Mixed response to solar farm plans after Inkberrow consultation

Evesham Editorial 5th May, 2022   0

VISITORS to a public exhibition on plans to build a solar farm between Redditch and Inkberrow have given the scheme a mixed response.

Held at the sports pavilion in Inkberrow, some saw it as a valuable means of increasing the UK’s green energy others as a blight on the landscape taking valuable agricultural land out of production.

The scheme, proposed by JBM Solar would see a solar farm covering 250 acres at Roundhill Farm off Earls Common Road near Stock Green, with a sub station just off the Saltway south west of Redditch.

“I’m horrified – it’s not the best place,” said farmer Richard Wolford, who organises horse riding on bridleways which will be covered by the farm.

“We have a holiday let and the view out of the back will just be the solar farm instead of green fields.

“We’re a rural area and you can’t attract visitors if there’s a solar farm here and you can’t keep Britain farming if you cover the fields in solar panels – but what can you do when face with something like this?”

Local resident Mark Warren said: “I’m all for renewable energy, but solar power so so more much inefficient than offshore wind turbines.

“You look at how the war in Ukraine has hit wheat production, where are we going to grow our food?

“You’ve also got to look at the solar panels themselves – they’re made in China which is the worst carbon producer in the world.”

However many visitors were prepared to take a more open view to the development.

David Powis spoke for many when he said: “Our energy situation is getting more and more serious.

“Solar farms are less intrusive and this is grazing land and sheep will still be able to graze there.

“Overall I’ve an open mind on it.”

Other people with concerns had their minds put at ease by Conor McAllister of JBM Solar who hosted the event.

“Having an exhibition and consultation like this is undustry best practice,” he said.

“We’ve had lots of questions, many about the ecology but also about fire safety at the site and access.”

He added that it was hoped a planning application could be submitted to Wychavon District Council by mid-June and, if approved, the solar farm could be up and running within 18 to 24 months.

The consultation continues online at: https://roundhillsolarfarm.co.uk/


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