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We have objected to an application from AEE Renewables for 22,000 solar panels, security fencing and associated equipment on fields in rural Somerset, close to public footpaths. In the application it is called a ‘solar farm’. The site is about a mile east of Shepton Mallet in the parish of Doulting. The planning application will be decided by Mendip District Council.
We consider that a solar ‘farm’ of such proportion is inappropriate in this quiet, intimate countryside. It is tantamount to a new industrial development. It will be highly visible, covering three fields on the side of the prominent Ingsdons Hill—and the applicant’s photomontages do nothing to reassure us.
The term ‘farm’ is a gross euphemism for what is proposed.
In particular we are concerned about the adverse effect on people’s enjoyment of the area when they are using the public footpaths across and alongside the site. One of these is promoted as the Mendip Way, a 50-mile long-distance route from Weston Super Mare to Frome. It is used and enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors each year and thus contributes to the local economy. The view from the path will be rendered most unpleasant by this development which may even deter people from using it.
The objectors have a website.