22nd Oct, 2016

Six-field solar farm bid a ‘shock’

Evesham Editorial 3rd Jul, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a solar farm near a Pershore village have been slammed by residents.

TGC Renewables have made proposals to construct the renewable site, which would cover almost 100 acres, 40 hectares, on land which forms the triangle between Great Comberton, Little Comberton and the Mary Brook.

The six-field development on Lilworth Farm would be bigger than Great Comberton or Little Comberton themselves, and both villagers and Parish Councillors have expressed their surprise and displeasure.

Kate Collingwood, chairman of Great Comberton Parish Council, said: “I don’t think anybody is against renewable energy, but there are places for it.

“To put and enormous scheme like this next to an area of outstanding natural beauty, it would just be a massive eyesore.

“Things like this are very good for uniting the village, but I think the general feeling is one of shock and amazement.

“It may be the company proposing it come to their senses and realise they have very little chance of getting it through the planning stage.

“It’s against the local policy, the local plan. National policy is in favour of renewables but not at the expense of extremely sensitive environmental land.”

The greenfield site, which is overlooked by the top of Bredon Hill and carries organic status, is currently being used for agricultural purposes to farm wheat and hay.

An exhibition was held at the Village Hall on Monday, June 30, where residents were shown site plans. An unofficial poll counted 126 people against the development and only nine in favour.

Geoff Wright, who has lived in the village for 30 years, echoed Coun Collingwood’s feelings.

“We were all shocked when they proposed to build the farm there, I don’t think there could have been a worse choice,” he said.

“It’s not that we don’t need solar energy, a lot of us have panels on our roofs, we do need solar energy but there should be

some plan to where you’re going to put it.

“This is an exceptionally lovely area, we are just hurt anybody would want to spoil it.

“This makes out that we’re being selfish and we’ve all got to swallow our love for the countryside and have the solar panels, but it’s not like that.

“In Germany 50 per cent of their solar energy comes from building roofs and the rest lines the autobahn’s. I just think it could be sited somewhere else.”

TGC are due to hear on July 11 if there is capacity on the national grid for a development to go ahead.

Lilworth Farm. Photo by Marcus Mingins 2714027MMR2