Village to get 23 acres of solar panels?

PUBLISHED: 15:50 22 August 2013 | UPDATED: 15:50 22 August 2013

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MORE than 20 acres of a small North Somerset village could be converted into fields of solar panels, if an energy company proceeds with its plans.

Green Energy UK Direct is looking at the possibility of creating two solar farms in Langford.

A 13-acre site at Churchill Park Farm in Ladymead Lane and a 10-acre site in Jubilee Lane have been identified by the company, which could hold thousands of electricity-generating solar panels.

This week Green Energy UK has asked North Somerset Council whether an assessment into the environmental impact is required before potentially proceeding with formal planning applications.

Its report said: “Whilst it is considered that there will be impacts on the area over and above those which already exist due to the installation of photovoltaic panels on agricultural land, such as visual impact to the immediate locality, these are matters than be dealt with as part of the planning application.”

The plans are in their early stages, according to the company’s planning officer Mathew Bayley.

He said: “If we get a good connection cost and the council suggest the site may be acceptable for the proposed development we will begin to liaise with local councillors, planning officials and begin consulting the general public through a series of public consultation events, letters, newspaper articles and leaflet drops.”

Investigations into the cost of connecting the site are still ongoing and can take three months, while any proposed layout of the solar panels has yet to be decided.

If Green Energy UK proceeds with the plans, and it gets the go-ahead from North Somerset Council, it is estimated it would take 12 weeks to build on each site.

Similar plans have been unveiled by other firms in Bleadon, Puxton, Hewish, Congresbury, Highbridge and Wedmore in recent weeks.

North Somerset Council is currently asking the public to submit their views on solar farms generally, with the consultation deadline ending on August 29.

Details about the policy and how to make online comments can be found at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/solarPVconsultation

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