PEOPLE living in Watchfield, near Highbridge, are being invited to view proposals for a huge solar park which could power up to 1,900 homes.

A public consultation for the plans by Hadstone Energy Limited to build a solar park on farm land at Pillmore Lane, east of the M5, will be held at Watchfield Village Hall on April 22 between 2pm and 7pm.

The news has already been welcomed by some locals. Emma Twigg, who lives not far from Watchfield in Bason Bridge, said: “It’s at the early stages, but I don’t have a problem with renewable energy.

“I’d rather have solar panels than Hinkley Point. A lot of people are also against wind farms but, with solar panels, I imagine there would be less threat to wildlife and they would not look an eyesore.”

Darren Cornish, who runs Jonswood Lodge near the proposed site, said: “I don’t have any issues with what’s been proposed at this stage. I don’t think, visually, it would affect us.

“It would maybe have more of a visual impact if viewed from the M5 or Brent Knoll but it wouldn’t be as noticeable as a turbine.”

Hadstone Energy Limited is a London-based renewable energy company which develops, builds and operates solar parks in the UK. Its Pillmore Lane solar park is expected to cover 50 acres and would generate around 9MW of electricity.

Emma Siddons, project manager for Hadstone, told the Weekly News: “This public consultation will provide local stakeholders with the opportunity to review and discuss the proposals prior to submission to Sedgemoor District Council.

“Anyone is welcome to attend. Representatives of Hadstone Energy Limited and LDA Design Limited will be available to answer any questions, and there will also be opportunity to comment.”

The consultation will be an informal exhibition with photomontages, site design information and information about renewable energy generation. For more information email emma.siddons@had

Solar power has also proved popular in Wedmore, as Sedgemoor District Council gave the green light last week for a separate solar project which will see 4,000 solar panels built at Mill Farm, in Quab Lane.

That project is hoped to power 300 local homes. It is supported by Wedmore Green Group and is being run by Wedmore-based renewable energy consultancy group, Rooftop Consultancy.

Both groups make up the co-operative ‘Wedmore Community Power Company’, which is run by local investors who will be able to buy shares after a few weeks.