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Locals Up In Arms About Planned Solar Farm

Locals residents and land campaigners are not happy about the proposals for a solar farm on 157 acres of land to the west of Street Lane, Denby, Derbyshire.

Freetricity are a renewable energy company business that has submitted plans for 7,000 solar panels to be installed on the above site.

Solar Farm
(image credit: mcmees24)

It is Amber Valley Borough Council that will have the final say in whether the solar farm is given the go ahead. If they do approve the project anything approaching 18 mega watts of energy will be produced that is more than enough to supply 6,000 homes.

However, part of the site that has been put forward is in green belt land so there are campaigners who are not happy about the proposal feeling that it will leave an unwanted stamp on the countryside.

Sylvia Mason, who is the chairperson of Amber Valley SOS that is an action group stated: “I am all for solar energy and prefer the idea to hideous-looking wind farms, but there is no need to take up valuable greenbelt or agricultural land for it.

“Solar panels should be located in places no one uses, such as roof tops and lamp posts.”

Freetricity are of the opinion that the solar panels that are 2 metres by 1 metre in size and would be placed in rows but would not be fixed permanently are pleasing to look at.

Stephen Wiseman who works for the company drew people’s attention to the fact that the land in question used to be for open cast mining and therefore it is only suitable for grazing and not fit for growing crops. He pointed out that the owners of the land could have to sell it off to be used for commercial development whereas the solar farm would make a positive impact from an environmental perspective.

If the planned solar farm receives the go ahead from Amber Valley Borough Council Freetricity would lease the land that is currently owned by 4 different farms located between the A38 and Street Lane for the next 25 years.

Anyone wishing to object to the proposal only has until 26 November 2012 to do so with a council decision expected in February 2013. Should approval be given it would take around three months to complete the construction work.

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