Solar farm would be ‘out of character’ with AONB
10:00 09 June 2014
A visit to the site of a proposed solar farm near Sidbury has failed to convince planning chiefs that the 28,800 panels could be screened by hedges.
The application by energy firm Lumicity Ltd would have seen a 30 acre field on East Hill Strips transformed in to an renewable energy supply for nearly 1,700 homes.
Planning officers had initially recommended the application be refused because of the negative impact the project would have on land designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).
But East Devon District Council’s development management committee was divided when it met in May - with some Members backing the officers’ reccomendation, and others arguing that proposed landscaping work would screen the site from view.
The committee agreed to inspect the site before making a decision, but after visiting the field on May 23, Members refused the application.
The committee cited the fact that the scheme would be ‘out of character’ with the landscape and would ‘fail to conserve the natural beauty of the AONB’ as reasons for their decision.