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Plans for North Curry solar farm come under fire
A SOLAR farm which would produce enough electricity to serve 320 homes has provoked a mixed reaction.
Solar South West plans to build 4,770 panels in a field the size of five football pitches at Helland Meads, off Pondpool Lane in North Curry.
But plans have already come under scrutiny from parish councillors and residents.
Susan and Alice Lewando, of West Sedgemoor Road, said: “The solar panels will dramatically and substantially devalue the property, obscure the only remaining open green space at the cottage and replace it with an ugly imposing eyesore, and cause severe disturbance to wetland wildlife.”
North Curry councillors objected to the plan at their latest parish council meeting due to the proximity of the site to neighbouring property and high fencing across the landscape.
They concluded: “Should planning permission be allowed, we would prefer the size of the site to reduced by 25% at the south-easterly end, a screening hedgerow to be planted to screen the south-easterly end of the site and the site not to be fenced as there are natural boundaries.”
The Campaign to Protect Rural England say they do not object to solar panels being installed but believe the scale and location must be considered against its environmental impact, which they say this application ‘falls short on’.
Plans would see a 2.4 metre high security fence around the field and solar panels would be fixed on to 235 steel tables – the overall height of the panels would be 2.9 metres.
Melanie Quinn, who lives next to the development, said she is fully in support of the idea.
She added: “I believe renewable energy is extremely important and I do not think these panels will make any significant blot on the landscape.”
In their online application, Solar South West say the site would be for around 25 to 30 years and after that point it would be fully removed.
They say the site will not exacerbate any flooding problems and urge people that construction vehicles would be no heavier or larger than the agricultural traffic that uses Pondpool Lane.
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