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Mendip District Council’s planning board yesterday roundly rejected a planning application from AEE Renewables for a solar farm close to public footpaths at Doulting, east of Shepton Mallet, in the heart of rural Somerset.
The application was for 22,000 solar panels, security fencing and associated equipment on the slopes of Ingsdons Hill about a mile east of Shepton Mallet. The Open Spaces Society, Doulting Parish Council and the Ingsdon’s Hill Preservation Society were among the objectors.
Mendip District Council’s planning officer recommended approval, but this was overturned by the members who voted by 10 to 5 to reject the application.
The solar panels would have been highly visible on the side of the prominent Ingsdon’s Hill, and would have spoilt people’s enjoyment of nearby public footpaths. In particular the view from the Mendip Way, a 50-mile long-distance route from Weston Super Mare to Frome, would have been severely impaired. We are pleased that Mendip councillors have rejected this damaging application.
Visit Ingsdon’s Hill Preservation Society’s website here.