Two other major schemes for solar energy production came into sharp focus this week.

On Monday, Tredington Parish Council held a special meeting to discuss hugely controversial plans for a 38,000-panel solar plant at Blackwell Grange Farm, next to Ilmington Downs, part of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

And last night (Wednesday) the parish council at Salford Priors was due to be shown proposals for a 20,000-panel solar plant at Salford Lodge Farm, a couple of miles outside the village.

The Salford Priors plans have only just been announced, but the scheme for Blackwell is now a firm planning application and it has triggered furious opposition.

Blackwell resident John Bird—one of the scheme’s most vocal opponents—told the Herald: “This would be a metal-and-glass monstrosity, ruining South Warwickshire’s green and pleasant land.”

Mr Bird said the solar plant would be the size of 24 football pitches in some of the most beautiful countryside in England.

He added: “It will adversely affect the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It will spoil it quite dramatically.”

So far more than 150 people have objected to the plans and Mr Bird drew attention to a speech by Greg Barker, the minister for energy and climate change, in April.

Speaking at the launch of the first-ever UK Solar Stategy, Mr Barker said: “As we take solar to the next level, we must be thoughtful, sensitive to public opinion and mindful of the wider environmental and visual impacts.”

George Hughes, whose family runs Salford Lodge Farm near Salford Priors, told the Herald that the solar plant proposals would take up 25 acres, which was less than five per cent of the land farmed there.

Mr Hughes, who is also involved in a family business called Active Renewables which instals solar panels on the top of buildings, said the proposed plant would power 1,197 local homes a year during its 25-year existence.