'Industrial' scale Halvasso farmland solar energy plan angers residents
3:00pm Thursday 25th October 2012 in News
PLANS to build an 11,500 panel solar farm on an area of land near Halvasso have angered local residents.
The proposals, for 12 fields near the BF Adventure site, would see more than 20,000 sq metres of agricultural land transformed into industrial use.
An estimated seven kilometres of hedgerows would be affected by the development, and would see them reduced in height to a uniform 2.4 metres, to stop them blocking light reaching the panels.
Although people living nearby say they accept the need for more green energy, the location is not right for the farm as it is good quality farmland and an historic landscape.
A public meeting was held last week at Mabe Parish Council to discuss the proposals.
One attendee raised the issue of hedgerows as a particular concern for local residents.
He said: “Neighbouring farmers, who have not generally been consulted, have sought legal advice, confirming that in fact to cut the hedges down to 2.4m as proposed without their consent is illegal, quite apart from their protected status as “important hedgerows” under the Hedgerow Act and BAP priority habitats.
“The hedges are really central to it, if the mature trees are kept in place alongside their diverse and important flora and fauna and additional planting takes place, in advance of the development, rather than a season after completion, many of the most serious visual impacts will be minimised.
“The hedges are very important up here, providing shelter for cattle and neighbouring gardens as well as privacy.”
One local resident, who did not want to be named, contacted the Packet to say: “It’s just turning our whole area in to a big industrial zone and we are being railroaded by people who don’t live here.
“All of our houses will be affected by hundreds of thousands of pounds in value.
“We don’t know what to do.”
The plans can be viewed online at Cornwall Council’s website at www.cornwall.gov.uk using reference PA12/09502