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MTS Exbury Solar Ltd has applied to build a solar farm on nine hectares of land east of Lepe Farm, Exbury in the New Forest National Park. We have objected and urged the national park authority to reject the application.
We consider that such a development is inappropriate in a national park, which is our top landscape designation. The panels would be an ugly intrusion in unspoilt countryside. Although the applicants claim they are ‘temporary’, they would remain in place for 25 years which is as good as permanent.
In particular we are concerned that the development would have an adverse effect on people’s enjoyment of the Lepe Loop, an attractive five-mile walking route on coast and through countryside, promoted by Hampshire County Council. The applicants admit that the panels would be visible from two public rights of way, one to the east (the Lepe Loop) and one to the north-west.
We consider that this development conflicts with both purposes of the national park authority, ie the conservation of natural beauty and the promotion of public enjoyment and understanding of the park’s special qualities. The authority should therefore reject it.
The society is supporting its member, the Exbury and Lepe Community Group in opposing the plans.