New 86-acre solar farm plan for Shropshire countryside
Controversial plans have been submitted to create a giant 86-acre solar farm in the Shropshire countryside.
Developers behind the proposal for Charity Farm, Burlton, near Wem, have officially submitted their plans for the scheme after consulting with local residents.
The project will see about 66,000 panels created and power generated to about 4,350 homes and is the latest scheme of its kind in the county.
Representatives from Lightsource Renewable Energy, the firm behind the project, said the farm would take about four months to build and be used for a period of about 25 years.
People living near the proposed site of the farm got to find out more about the scheme at a public exhibition in Loppington Village Hall last month.
Residents concerned about the visual impact the farm as the effects on local wildlife, were told the site would be well screened and continue to be used for agriculture.
The planning application says: "The Charity Farm solar farm will increase the UK's sustainable, locally generated, energy supply, by providing enough clean energy to power 4,350 households.
"The electricity generated by the solar farm will enter the local grid network and will be utilised at the closest points of demand, meaning that more of the electricity used by Burlton and Shropshire will be from a clean renewable source, as opposed to from the burning of fossil fuels.
"There are likely to be work opportunities generated for local contractors during the construction and on-going operation of the solar farm."
It said a community benefit payment has been offered to Loppington Parish Council to be applied towards the installation of roof top solar panels on a building of the parish council's choice within the community.
Over 137 households were directly informed of the proposal. The firm claims overall the feedback at the community consultation was positive.
Lightsource Renewable Energy is also drawing up a similar scheme for a solar farm near Whitchurch and a planning application could be submitted shortly.
Both proposals could save more than 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, the firm said.
Meanwhile, there are plans for an 80,000-panel solar farm capable of providing power to nearly 6,000 houses on the outskirts of Shrewsbury.
Plans have been submitted by Bristol-based solar installation company Elgin Energy Esco Ltd to build the solar farm on a development site in Sundorne.
Similar plans for solar farms in Wheat Leasowes in Hadley, Telford, and Green Farm, about a mile north of Condover, near Shrewsbury, have also been put forward.
A campaign has begun to stop solar farms springing up on the hills around Cleobury Mortimer.
The Save Our Green Hills fight is a reaction to solar energy firms setting their sights on two farms around Neen Sollars.
Residents say such schemes would destroy the beauty of their rolling hills.
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