5th Dec, 2016

Massive solar farm near Preston on Stour given thumbs down by council

Stratford Editorial 27th Jun, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after plans to build a massive solar farm near Preston on Stour were rejected.

TGC Renewables Ltd was looking to build the farm – the equivalent to around 55 football pitches in size – on farmland owned by John Smith and Rex Harding.

But the Group Against Radbrook Solar Plant (GARSP) argued the proposed 98-acre farm on land off Admington Road would spell disaster for the village and its residents.

They expressed concerns the greenfield site, which is made up of agricultural farming land and is overlooked by a Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), would be destroyed by the plans.

They also maintained the farm, which would operate on a temporary basis for a period of 25 years and generate enough electricity to power some 5,400 homes, was close to various ancient woodlands, the Grade II listed Radbrook Manor and the Scheduled Ancient Monument, mount and hill fort of Meon Hill.

And with the farm potentially being made up from panels of up to 3m high, they were worried about the visual impact it could have on the surrounding area.

The parish council also argued the project would blight the landscape and offered no economic or social benefit to the village.

But despite officers recommending the application be granted, members of Stratford District Council’s planning committee refused permission for the 74,000 panel solar farm at a meeting on Wednesday (June 22).