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40,000-panel solar farm plan quashed by strategic planners

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: May 01, 2013

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PLANS to install 40,000 solar panels in an area of great landscape value in Trerulefoot were quashed by Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee last week.

On Tuesday, April 23, members of the committee questioned why the application to build a 9.8 megawatt farm on land at Wilton Farm had progressed so far and voted to refuse the scheme by 11 votes to 1.

During the meeting Cornwall councillor for Pelynt, Richard Pugh, said: "I have made several presentations to this committee but this case is one of the most difficult to understand – why are we here debating an application which should not have advanced past pre-application advice?"

Mr Pugh recommended refusal on the grounds that the land, which sits entirely within the Looe and Seaton Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV), contradicted council policy for protecting such areas.

He said the plans, which were submitted by Murex Energy Ltd, also went against council policy for protecting quality agricultural land and highlighted residents' concerns about the adverse visual impact it would have on the area.

"There have been many objections to this application and this site is not in the fold of the land I can assure you – it's right on the top and is clearly visible," Mr Pugh said.

Deviock Parish Council, whose boundaries the application falls within, objected to the scheme along with Morval Parish Council, but nearby St Germans had voted in favour of the application. During the meeting vice-chairman of Deviock Parish Council, Doug Parry, told councillors that the farm would be an overdevelopment of the land.

He also referred to two separate undetermined applications for wind turbines nearby and said if all three applications went ahead it would transform the parish from "a pleasant rural aspect to an industrialised brownfield area".

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