September 17 2014 Latest news:
By Matthew Gooding
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Communities minister Eric Pickles will not stand in the way of a 250-acre solar farm being built in Crow country.
The solar farm, planned Vine Farm in Shingay-cum-Wendy, has been scrutinised by the government’s Department for Communities and Local Government, who have decided not to intervene to block the scheme.
As reported in The Crow last week, South Cambridgeshire district council’s planning committee had resolved to approve the solar farm at its meeting last month, with members deciding that 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 cover and the visual impact.
Councillor Robert Turner, cabinet member for planning at the district council, said: “Nearly all planning decisions have people on all sides of the debate, but it is good to see so many positive comments about this solar farm which will provide a great deal of green energy for the local community.
“Our job has been to weigh up all the factors, which included gathering local views and assessing the application against planning policies, before making a final decision.”
Speaking to The Crow last week, Carl-Niklas Wentzel, of UK Solar Provider, said the farm would lead to a £1.25million investment in the local community, with a non-profit company being set up to contribute at least £50,000 a year to community projects over the 25-year life of the farm, which has the backing of Bassingbourn and Wendy parish councils.
The firm also plans to create a 75-acre wildlife corridor around the farm, which will be accessible to local residents.