Fierce opposition to plans for new solar farm near Ledburn

Campaigners say there are too many solar farms in the area already
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Plans for a solar farm in Ledburn have received fierce opposition from residents and local councils.

Campaigners have highlighted the impact on farmland, nearby historic areas and the difficulty of safe access to the site as reasons for its refusal.

The application for a solar farm was submitted to Buckinghamshire Council by Novus Renewable Services Limited last month.

Campaigners are opposed to a new solar park in the areaCampaigners are opposed to a new solar park in the area
Campaigners are opposed to a new solar park in the area

It calls for the installation of a renewable energy generating solar farm comprising ground-mounted photovoltaic solar arrays together with substation, tower connection, transformer stations, switchroom, site accesses, internal access tracks, security measures, access gates, other ancillary infrastructure and landscaping and biodiversity enhancements on land east of Ledburn near Mentmore.

They say the proposal would “provide a clean, renewable and sustainable form of electricity and will also make a valuable contribution to the generation of electricity at a local level. The scheme would contribute to the council's progress in meeting its renewable energy target and would also assist in meeting national targets for both energy supply and low carbon energy development.”

Slapton Parish Council has objected to the scheme, saying there are already several solar farms in the area, and that there was a glint and glare health and safety risk to the the aircraft landing on the private airstrip on the adjacent field in Grove.

They also fear the impact on open countryside and state there would be no benefit to the local community, with good quality agricultural land at risk and an impact on views from the AoNB and Green Belt and loss of open countryside.

One resident of the village said she had thought long and hard about her comments because she understood there was a need for clean green energy.

But she said: “Ledburn is a small rural, tight knit supportive community which has its roots in agrarian history. The election of the solar panels with the panel, masts and security will be out of keeping the surrounding countryside and be an eyesore on the edge of conservation areas and AoNB. In spite of revised drawings it will be seen, particularly from Wing and Mentmore.

“The proposed site does not, as I understand have adequate drainage to cope with our ever changing climate. The subsequent flooding will cause inconvenience to residents and create excess water and mud on the already dangerous roads.

“Ledburn is a, 'rat run' for traffic. The installation and maintenance traffic will create further dangers and hazards tor residents, walkers and pedestrians.”

And another said: “The proposed development encompasses a large area and is very close to the residents of Ledburn affecting many properties. Neighbouring solar farms, of which there are many, take up far less acreage. This is not an appropriate development given the scale and local heritage assets.”

Lucy Molloy, Senior Highways Development Management Officer at Buckinghamshire Council said the main access to the site was an issue.

In her report she stated: “Given the shortfall in visibility, it is unlikely that a licence, either for a temporary construction access or a permanent access, will be approved by the relevant team at Buckinghamshire Council.”

A date has not yet been set to consider the application. You can view the plans online here by searching for application 23/02313/APP