December 9 2013 Latest news:
By Emma Hardwick, Reporter
Sunday, August 18, 2013
A DEVELOPER has earmarked land in Saffron Walden for a renewable energy site – prompting fears about the loss of “fantastic countryside”.
Colchester-based Push Energy is hosting an exhibition next week to display plans for a solar farm on 17.3 hectares of agriculture land at Butchers Farm, to the north of Sewards End.
The company is gauging opinion before submitting a planning application.
The solar farm would generate 9.3MWp of electricity by using photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight directly into electricity.
The site could generate enough energy to power about 2,170 homes.
James Snell, whose family has owned property close to the site since 1965, said: “I am appalled at the short notice given for the meeting, bearing in mind how much it will affect the lives of residents nearby.
“I am not against the principals of solar panels but the residents of Butlers Farm and Painters Farm feel very upset about the potential loss of a fantastic countryside.”
Saffron Walden town councillor for Castle Ward, David Sadler, said he would be calling in the application, if submitted, to Uttlesford District Council planning committee.
He said: “I am disappointed about not being given information ahead of the exhibition or consulted about the proposed solar farm as it will be coming into my ward.
“Aside from attending the public exhibition, my recommendation is for residents who oppose the solar farm to send their objections to the planning department at Uttlesford once a planning application has been submitted.”
Push Energy has previously said Uttlesford was an ideal site of solar farms because of its flat landscape.
Chief executive Stuart Bradshaw said: “We have selected the site for this project as it receives good levels of sunlight, can easily be connected to the National Grid, is relatively flat and is without any buildings or landscape features that could cause overshadowing.”
The exhibition will be next Wednesday from 6-8pm at Ashdon Village Hall on Crown Hill. Members of the development team will be on hand to discuss the plans and answer questions.
The team can be contacted by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or by post at Push Energy, Westwood Park, London Road, Little Horkesley, Colchester, Essex CO6 4BS.