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Plan for 75,000 panel solar farm near Holsworthy approved

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: February 15, 2013

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A SOLAR farm covering 14 acres near Holsworthy with up to 75,000 panels has been approved by Torridge District Council.

The site at Foxcombe Farm at Hollacombe will generate 5MW of electricity through the panels which will be three metres tall. Councillors approved the application which had been submitted by developers Chester Energy at a plans committee meeting on February 7.

Since the original proposal one of the fields which was going to be part of the solar farm was removed to ensure the panels would not be so close to a neighbouring property.

Despite the reduction the solar farm will still only be 65 metres from neighbouring property Tredown, where a Land Rover dealership business is based.

Tim Selwyn, who lives at Tredown, said despite their property being so close they have not been consulted and he believed the solar farm will affect business.

He said: "We understand everyone who is able to vote in the area has objected except the applicant. We believe our business will suffer, the noise during construction will be horrendous."

Councillor Chris Leather agreed the nearest panels to Tredown were too close. He said: "If I was living there I wouldn't be happy with it, three metres is high."

Richard Wearmouth, from Chester Energy Ltd, said the energy produced would be clean and silent.

He said: "In terms of visual impacts it will be invisible through careful site design.

"There will be mitigated planting of new habitat and proposed to grow hedgerows as big as the development."

Councillors agreed to approve the application but ask officers to use their delegated powers to get the first four blocks of the panels nearest to Tredown removed.

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