A MASSIVE solar farm big enough to power nearly 1,500 homes has been given the go-ahead on land near Burnham – after Sedgemoor District Council received just a single letter of opposition to the project.
The proposed 25,000-panel solar farm at Ashlawn Farm, off Pill Road, south of Rooksbridge, is just 100 metres from the site of a far more controversial scheme for four wind turbines, which was rejected and is now subject to an appeal.
The solar farm would span a 7.62-hectare site – an area larger than ten football pitches.
Wells-based company Brilliant Harvest 009 was granted permission by Sedgemoor District Council’s planning committee last week.
In April last year, the planning committee rejected plans by Broadview Energy for four wind turbines at Pilrow Farm, also near Rooksbridge.
Nearly 800 people submitted letters of objection to Sedgemoor District Council about the wind turbine project, with many correspondents concerned about the height and scale of the turbines.
In rejecting the scheme, the council said the turbines would “significantly undermine” the flat and level nature of that part of the Somerset Levels.
Broadview appealed the decision and a public inquiry was held earlier this year.
A decision is still awaited on whether or not the company’s appeal has been successful.
Martin Shobbrook, clerk to East Brent Parish Council, said its members had engaged in a lengthy debate about the solar panel scheme before deciding it would neither support nor oppose it.
Mr Shobbrook said: “The general consensus of the parish councillors was that solar energy production is one the alternative forms of power which should be promoted and they are not opposing the matter per se.”