Thursday, October 10, 2013
NDC planning committee refuse plans for 24,000 solar panels on South Molton farm
Plans to install 24,000 solar panels at Bottreaux Mill in South Molton have been rejected by North Devon Council planning committee.
The decision came down to committee chairman Cllr Eric Ley, who refused the application, after seven members voted in favour and seven against.
The proposal was for a solar farm, including 24,000 panels up to 1.9m in height, a sub-station and six inverter housings, which would have provided enough renewable energy for 1,100 homes.
Four representatives from neighbouring parishes spoke against the plans, although Molland Parish Council, where the site sits, accepted the application in November 2012.
Applicant Kate Colvill also spoke, saying: “Clean power for 1,100 homes is a considerable achievement for the area.
“This is not for our generation but for our children and theirs.”
And planning officer Keith Bynes warned that rejecting the plans would leave the council ‘vulnerable’ at appeal.
“You would be arguing with your own planning policy,” he said. “You would find it incredibly difficult to uphold at appeal and it would leave the authority vulnerable.”
But Cllr Ley decided not to approve the plans due to the site’s vicinity to Exmoor National Park and concerns over landscaping near the B3227.