Villagers in protest over solar farm plan

Solar panels
Solar panels
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Villagers have formed an action group to combat proposals for a solar farm near their homes.

They claim the plans for solar panels on more than 30 acres at Crown Hill, Ropsley, will be an eyesore, harm wildlife and spoil an area of historical and archaeological interest.

A public meeting in Ropsley village hall called by the parish council was attended by more than 40 locals, who were said to be unanimously opposed to the proposals.

Now the parish council has formed a working party to deal with the issue and residents have formed a campaign group called Harass - Humby and Ropsley Against Solar Site.

Ropsley parish cleark Heidi Wilson said the parish council called the public meeting to give people a chance to air their views about the scheme, put forward by TGC Renewables, based in Glasgow.

She said: “It was apparent there is quite a lot of opposition towards the proposal. I think most people are broadly in favour of renewable energy, but it is felt that this is a wholly inappropriate setting.”

Locals are concerened because they say:

l The panels would be visible from homes.

l The solar panels could harm wildlife, particulalrly birds.

l Narrow county roads are unsuitable for heavy lorries needed during construction.

l A solar farm would spoil the area of attractive countryside, which includes a conservation area, listed church and chapel and a 300-year-old ring dam once used as a sheep-wash.

TGC Renewables says it has reduced the scale of the proposal since an earlier scheme was put forward and it wants the district council’s opinion on the project before it submits a planning application.

Locals are pressing the council to make an environmental impact assessment, but the company says this is not necessary.