Fury over timing of solar farm meeting in Ingoldsby

Roger Higginbotham and Jo Morris-Turner are ready for a fight against plans for a solar development. EMN-141011-090428001
Roger Higginbotham and Jo Morris-Turner are ready for a fight against plans for a solar development. EMN-141011-090428001
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The chairman of a parish council has hit out at a company which plans to build a solar farm which would cover the equivalent of 138 football pitches.

Josephine Morris-Turner, chairman of Lenton with Keisby, Osgodby and Hanby Parish Council, says people in the area have been given little time to prepare for a consultation meeting planned for next week in Ingoldsby Village Hall.

Mrs Morris-Turner said: “At some 216 to 239 acres, this will be of such a breathtakingly vast scale that we truly don’t believe people can visualise the enormity of it, or yet appreciate what is at stake for something which will not only industrialise a beautiful, rolling agricultural landscape adjacent to two ancient woods, two conservation villages, with 85 listed buildings within just a few kilometres, but which will, almost futilely, generate less than 10 per cent of its potential and eliminate food production which has taken place on that farmland for centuries.”

Mrs Morris-Turner says the consultation meeting arranged for Wednesday, May 27, between 3pm and 6pm, will be “little more than an exhibition of picture boards manned by one or two representatives from Laurence Associates”.

She said she had been told the meeting could not be changed because it has already been publicised in the Journal. She was also told that notices would be displayed in the village.

She said: “Frankly, this is an extremely poor show for a company steering something which, if approved, would be so vast as to be life-changing for those of us who live here and would even be significant for the whole of South Kesteven, the host district.”

Mrs Morris-Turner says many parishioners are not against solar power or solar panels. But she added: “We are as passionate about saving the planet as anyone else - but the science doesn’t stack up and we will lose more than we gain if we permit developments such as the Osgodby proposal on arable or quality grazing land.”

Hollie Nicholls, planning manager with planning consultants Laurence Associates, said: “We have taken those comments into account and are looking to arrange a second event in the future.”

An opposition group called SCORCHIO (Solar Construction at Osgodby - Rural Communities and Homes In Opposition) has been set up by Mrs Morris-Turner and Roger Higginbotham.

A group called SPOIL (Solar Plant Opposed in Ingoldsby Locale) has also been set up in Irnham.