August 2 2014 Latest news:
By Matthew Gooding
Monday, July 7, 2014
Planning permission has been granted for two more solar farms, with another pair of developments in the pipe line.
South Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee gave it’s approval to plans for solar farms at Spring Lane, Bassingbourn, and Manor Farm in Church Lane, Croydon, at its meeting last Wednesday.
The Spring Lane site will produce 14.4 megawatts of energy, enough to power 3,240 homes, while the Croydon site is larger, at 21.1 megawatts, the equivalent of power for 4,860 homes.
Planners backed the Croydon scheme despite opposition from Croydon Parish Council and the Campaign to Protect Rural England, who said the farm was “more reminiscent of a factory landscape that a rural one”.
Meanwhile, consultation events will take place next week before planning applications are submitted for two similar farms.
Plots of land at Munceys Farm and Black Peak Farm in Melbourn have been earmarked as potential sites for solar farms, and before the plans are finalised, residents are being invited to meet developers and have their say.
Both farms are being proposed by Lightsource Renewable energy.
Conor McGuigan, Lightsource Business Development Director, said: “Solar farms do not only produce green energy, but they provide an opportunity to support local businesses, skills and wildlife habitats by responsibly managing the land.
“Although the majority of people will not see these solar farms once they have been installed, we hope that they will recognise the positive community benefits they bring, with biodiversity enhancements, continual agricultural use and a locally-produced source of clean, safe, energy.”
The consultation meeting for the Black Peaks Farm development is being held at Fowlmere Village Hall on Monday, July 14, with residents welcome to drop in at any time between 5.30pm-8pm.
Consultation on the Munceys Farm development takes place the following night, Tuesday July 15, from 5.30pm-8pm at Melbourn Village College.