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Residents turn out in force to check out solar panel farm plans
1:14pm Tuesday 1st July 2014 in News
2614633204 Paul Jackson 24.06.14 Great Comberton Solar panels covering 100 acres are possibly going to be built on land around Lilworth Farm, Great Comberton. (7484545)
ANGRY residents opposing plans to cover nearly 100 acres of their village parish with a £22 million solar farm turned out in force to a public exhibition consultation event to voice their concerns this week.
The plans, which are still at least four months away from being officially submitted, would see about 91.5 acres of land at Lilworth Farm, Great Comberton, covered for a period of 25 years.
TGC Renewables, which is behind the farm, that they say would not be built before March 2016, held the event after information about the plans began causing great outcry amongst the residents in the local area.
Despite getting the answers to many of their questions residents, who are primarily concerned about the impact the farm would have on the view from Bredon Hill and the adjacent area of natural beauty, remained unconvinced by the plans.
John Woodcock, of Pershore Road, Great Comberton, carried out an exit poll on 179 people as they left the exhibition.
The people were given four options, with nine voting in favour of the proposal, 36 undecided, eight not prepared to answer and 126 against the plans.
He said: "I don't feel any different about the plans. I think they seem to have pulled a little bit of it back. But it's still an enormous site on the side of Bredon Hill."
Another resident Geoff Wright, of Main Street, said he was delighted so many people had come along to view the exhibition.
Kate Collingwood, Great Comberton Parish Council chairman, added: "A lot of people visit this area and it's on the Wychavon Way. We are really lucky to live in a beautiful part of the world and if we do it's our duty to look after it for everyone."
The solar panels, said to be 80cms off the ground up to three metres high, would allow for grazing of animals such as sheep or chicken to continue beneath them.
And they will produce enough energy to power 5,000 homes, all in the local area, and a community benefit would mean £1,000 per annum per MWp would be given to Great Comberton Parish Council for the first 10 years of the site’s operation equating to up to £200,000 of benefit.
Roy Amner, director, said the exhibition was being held early in the hope concerns could be dealt with.
"We are here specifically because there has been concern in the local community about the proposal," he said. "The main concern is the area of natural beauty. But we have had a good mix of positive comments."
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