250-acre solar farm plan for Shingay-cum-Wendy referred to Secretary of State for Community and Local Government Eric Pickles
PUBLISHED: 17:44 11 August 2014 | UPDATED: 17:44 11 August 2014
A 250-acre solar farm has won council approval, but the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles could intervene to block the project.
South Cambridgeshire district council’s planning committee resolved to approve the scheme, at Vine Farm, Shingay-cum-Wendy, at its meeting last Wednesday.
However, the government’s department for communities and local government (DCLG) has asked to take a look at scheme before it gets the green light.
A spokesman for the district council explained: “Our planning committee decided the solar farm should be approved as the benefits of generating a significant amount of green energy on a well screened site outweighed concerns such as the amount of land it would take up and the visual impact.
“The committee decision is now being submitted to the Secretary of State who will let us know if it stands, or if he would like to consider the application himself.”
Renewable energy firm Uk Solar Provider Ltd wants to develop the site. Speaking to The Crow earlier this year, Carl-Niklas Wentzel, the firm’s founder, said: “We believe the site is perfectly suited for developing a solar farm, since it is already very well shielded by large hedgerows and set between the farm’s grain storage buildings and the Bassingbourn Barracks.
“We believe green energy generated by solar panels is a great benefit to the whole community, if done correctly”
A spokesman for the DCLG said they could not comment on the reasons behind the application being referred.
*For more on this story, see Thursday’s Crow.