Protests over lack of solar farm details

Bleadon resident Malcom Richards' view of the five fields where the proposed site would go.

Bleadon resident Malcom Richards' view of the five fields where the proposed site would go. - Credit: Sub

CONSULTATION over plans for more than 32,000 solar panels in Bleadon finished yesterday (Weds), amid concerns from residents about the impact they will have on their views.

The Mercury reported last month that solar energy developer Energi Installations is hoping to build the panels on South Hill Farm to provide renewable energy to be fed into the national grid.

Last week Bleadon Parish Council agreed to support the proposals after receiving just one letter of objection.

But a meeting organised by a village resident was attended by more than 50 people who voiced their objections after what they felt was a lack of information about the plans.

At the time the Mercury went to press, North Somerset Council had received more than 20 letters of objection.

Commenting, Charlotte Razay from Bleadon said: “There is not going to be a moderate effect on the landscape, it is going to be substantial.

“This is no doubt going to have a detrimental effect on not only the price of our property, but a number of properties in the vicinity.”

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People responding to the plans on the North Somerset Council website said the installation would affect views from Brent Knoll, Brean Down, Uphill and the Purn Hill area of Bleadon.

Malcolm Richards, whose house overlooks the fields, said: “We purchased this house based on the uncompromising vista at the rear of the house which will now be, paradoxically, severely compromised for ourselves, neighbours and other residents overlooking the rear of these alien structures in a rural environment.”

People commenting on the panels were also concerned over the size of the development, potential glare from the panels, traffic and the appearance of the perimeter fence and CCTV cameras.

North Somerset has just begun consulting on a document which would form the basis for the siting of solar arrays. The guidance document says where practical, panels should be sited on previously developed land, and is available for comments until July 12.