July 31 2014 Latest news:
By Matthew Gooding
Monday, March 10, 2014
A new solar farm for Crow country has moved a step closer, but a decision on another has been deferred.
Royston town council’s planning committee gave its blessing plans for a 71-acre solar farm near Highfield Farm, Bassingbourn, at its meeting last week.
A separate application, for a 116-acre solar farm near Bury Lane Farm, off the A10 near Melbourn and Meldreth, was considered by South Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee on Thursday. They deferred their decision.
Cllr Bob Smith, Royston’s mayor, told The Crow that the town council planning committee had no objections to the Bassingbourn solar farm on planning grounds.
He said: “Access to the site wouldn’t be from the A505, and it would be shielded by a line of trees and a hedge, so it’s not going to be intrusive.
“There was no planning reason for us to refuse it. I think the general feeling was that it’s better to have a solar farm than something like a windfarm.”
Bassingbourn Parish Council has also supported The Highfield Farm development, and it will now go to South Cambridgeshire district council for a final decision. Consultation remains open on the site for the next two weeks, so residents are still able to air their views. A decision is unlikely to be taken until May at the earliest.
Regarding the Bury Lane development, a spokesman for the district council said: “Councillors have asked planners to work with the applicant to address some of the outstanding concerns on the size of the solar farm, the proximity to a nearby footpath, and the impact on the landscape and views.”
Concerns have been raised by local residents about the size of the farm, as well the impact it might have on local wildlife, but despite this planning officers had recommended that it be approved.
Meldreth Parish Council has come out against the scheme, but Melbourn Parish Council has voiced its approval.