November 6, 2012

Bowhay Solar Farm Locals Launch Information Web Site

As we reported recently, Lightsource Renewable Energy have applied for planning permission to build a 10.7 MW solar PV park on a 54 acre site just south of Exeter. Now:

A group of local people who are enthusiasts for renewable energy

have set up a web site with the aim of:

Helping ensure proper scrutiny of the proposal to build a 54 acre solar farm near Exeter

They go on to say that they :

Believe that solar energy, in particular, can make an important contribution towards the UKs efforts to enhance energy security. However, we also believe that solar projects must be:

  • Sensitively positioned, so that they preserve and enhance our valued countryside,
  • Appropriate in scale, so that they fit within the characteristics of the local landscape,
  • On low-grade or brownfield sites, so that they do not contribute to food shortages or undermine national food security,
  • Properly structured and financed to minimise the chances of leaving future generations with unfunded environmental clean-up costs,
  • Meticulously planned and researched so that there are no unforeseen adverse consequences for land or water pollution, or for human or animal health and wellbeing,
  • Thoroughly scrutinised so that everyone can benefit from the right scale of project, in the right position, and on the right type of land.

Solar energy is too important to be allowed to suffer a similar fate so it’s important that we do everything we can to make sure that projects are appropriate, sensitive, sustainable and of benefit to all. Above all they must be projects which can act as a positive role model for future developments.

We believe that the proposed site at Bowhay Farm falls well short of meeting these criteria, and that planning permission should be refused.

Regular readers will no doubt conclude that their third bullet point is the one that most concerns me! However if you are also resident in the Shillingford locality and a fan of large scale solar PV and/or concerned about any of the above bullet points you may wish to attend the next meeting of the Shillingford Parish Council planning committee, which will discuss the Bowhay Farm proposals. It will take place on Monday November 12th at Shillingford St. George Village Hall. The doors open at 7 pm to allow time for viewing plans of the proposal, and the meeting is due to start at 7:30 pm. Our straw poll about the Bowhay Farm project (see the top right of this page) currently reveals 5 votes strongly "for" the proposals, versus 18 votes "against". It may turn out to be quite a lively meeting!

This news has caused us to make yet another addition to our interactive map and list of large scale solar PV projects in South West England. In this case details of site specific "informational" web sites.

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