STRONG objections lodged against plans to install 74,000 solar panels on nearly 100 acres of land to the west of Admington Road at Preston-on-Stour have been backed by Stratford District Council, which has rejected the planning application.
The proposals to establish the solar farm for 25 years were considered last Wednesday night, 22nd June, by the council’s east area planning committee.
And despite a recommendation from officials to grant the application, councillors rejected it.
It was envisaged that the scheme would have generated enough electricity for 5,400 homes
Among the objectors were Cllr Chris Saint (Cons, Shipston North), the leader of the district council, and ward councillor, Philip Seccombe (Cons, Ettington). Preston-on-Stour Parish Council has also objected to the scheme — proposed by TGC Renewables — along with the neighbouring parish council of Quinton.
The parish council at Preston declared that the project would blight the landscape and offered no economic or social benefit to the village.
Quinton Parish Council said it would be an inappropriate use of agricultural land and that such schemes should be confined to brownfield sites. Local residents have also weighed in with strong objections.
Jenny Turner, of Lower Brailes, said that a peaceful area of ancient woodlands, with a beautiful backdrop, would be destroyed. In her objection, she wrote: “I can think of no benefits this solar plant would have on the immediate area, the employment and the countryside.
“I strongly object to this plant that can be viewed from three miles away. It will destroy the beauty of the area.”
Colette Nock, of Blackwell, said: “Agricultural land is not the place for solar plants. It is for growing crops and allowing farm livestock to graze.
“Blighting the beautiful landscape with such ugly constructions is a crime — not to mention the disruption it will cause to the surrounding neighbourhood.”
Another objector said that a ‘temporary’ installation of 25 years was more than a generation and could hardly be called temporary.