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Doulting Parish Council has voted to object to an application from AEE Renewables for a solar farm close to public footpaths in the heart of rural Somerset. We submitted our objection in August.
The application is for 22,000 solar panels, security fencing and associated equipment on the slopes of Ingsdons Hill about a mile east of Shepton Mallet. The planning application will be decided by Mendip District Council in January.
The parish council held an extraordinary meeting to consider the matter last Monday.
This so-called ‘solar farm’ would be an ugly intrusion in this quiet, attractive countryside and highly visible on the side of Ingsdons Hill. It would be slap in the face of walkers on the surrounding footpaths and would destroy people’s enjoyment of the Mendip Way, a 50-mile long-distance route from Weston Super Mare to Frome. When the rural economy is struggling it would be particularly perverse to allow a development which will discourage walkers from visiting the area, and spending money here.
The objection from Doulting Parish Council is significant and will help to show Mendip Council that this application must be rejected. Other objectors include the Ingsdons Hill Preservation Society, Campaign for the Protection of Rural England and Ramblers.