Pelham Spring solar plans submitted to Uttlesford District Council

A solar farm on grass (File photo)

A solar farm (File photo) - Credit: PA

Villagers are "reeling" after hearing that a developer has filed a planning application to build Pelham Spring Solar Farm.

Residents who live near the proposed solar site fear that the project will needlessly destroy farmland.

But the developer, Low Carbon Solar Park 6, told Uttlesford District Council that the site could provide energy for more than 16,500 homes.

Up to 49.9 megawatts of green energy generated on-site could displace up to 11,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

Low Carbon's planning application reads: "The proposed development would provide a clean, renewable and sustainable form of electricity generation directly into the local electricity network.

"The principle of renewable energy is supported by both local and national planning policy."

It adds: "The environmental and technical reports that form part of the planning application submission demonstrate that there would be no unacceptable environmental impacts.

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"There are a number of added benefits, including habitat creation and biodiversity net-gains."

The Stop Battles Solar group opposes Pelham Spring.

A Stop Battles Solar spokesperson said: "The community is still reeling as a result of Low Carbon’s application for permission to build Pelham Spring Solar Farm.

"Despite written assurances that residents would receive advance notice of the planning application, there was no prior warning that an application had been submitted.

"The extent of this industrial development can only be appreciated when you understand that it will include 26 containerised inverters, 40 containerised battery storage units, a DNO substation and Customer substation."

They added: "There is no need to destroy our countryside to fight climate change."

Several objections have already appeared on Uttlesford's planning website.

One Berden resident said that the area needs "productive farmland".

The resident wrote: "The solar factory is all about corporate greed and profit-making under the guise of global warming.

"These companies do not care about local people."

Both the resident and the Stop Battles Solar spokesperson called for more off-shore wind.

Pelham Spring would straddle the Uttlesford - East Hertfordshire border, which means both councils need to review the application.

Uttlesford's planners will determine the result of the application before Feburary 11, 2022.

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