A PLAN to build a solar farm on a former airfield was backed by councillors amid concerns it would damage views from one of the county’s most historic parks.

The 60-acre solar farm, which would be built on part of the former RAF Defford site, was backed by Wychavon District Council’s planning committee last week (June 3).

The proposal did raise some concerns that it would damage the view of the countryside from grade I-listed and heritage asset Croome Court as well as the nearby Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Councillors were asked to weigh up the harm it may cause against the potential benefits of producing renewable energy.

Cllr Ed Cohen said: “It’s a subject that is very dear to my heart but on the other hand, you need a balance against the loss of countryside.

“I think that the alterations that have been made and are acceptable to Worcestershire Wildlife means I accept that the mitigation is enough and acceptable.

“My point of view is that if we don’t have more renewable energy and reduce our carbon footprint, we won’t have any countryside.”

Cllr Adrian Darby said he had objected to the 2014 plan because of the affect it would have on Croome Court – “Wychavon’s most important heritage asset” – and Bredon Hill.

He said there would be “considerable” advantages to a solar farm and accepted there would be damage to Croome but it would be “less than substantial.”

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust had originally voiced strong opposition to the plan when it was first proposed in 2014 but agreed to remove its objection following lengthy discussions with applicant Croome Airfield Solar Ltd and the council.

The Gardens Trust repeated its strong objection to the plan over concerns the glare from solar panels would ruin the views from Croome Court.

The council's planning committee approved the plan by 14 votes to one.