Letter: Why we should embrace solar panels
The necessity of dealing urgently with climate change and energy security brings with it an imperative that solar farms really must be welcomed.
Solar farms in the countryside can be beneficial to protected species. They don't smell, and they can be screened. After they have served their purpose, the landscape is as before, and in the meantime, they will have delivered enormous human and environmental benefits.
However, planning and foresight are essential, and the Green Party has specified the conditions to be applied before a particular site is approved. In South Shropshire these conditions are as follows:
Solar farms should normally be developed on land formerly used for land-fill or currently used for car parks, business parks and industrial estates; they should be developed as part of an agreed renewable energy policy that supports solar PV on schools, council buildings and NHS facilities and the planning system should encourage this; they should not normally be developed on agricultural land classified as grade 1 (excellent), 2 (very good), 3 (good to moderate).
We think that planners should be aware of both disadvantages and benefits to wildlife when considering specific installations and environments, wind or solar, and make judgements accordingly. This is why we are calling on Shropshire Council to lead the way with county consultation and guidelines.
Janet Helen Phillips
South Shropshire Green Party
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