Oswestry energy park given green light

More than 2,500 solar panels are to be installed near an historic Oswestry monument after an application was given the green light by planners.

Renewables firm Engena submitted an application to build Cefn Y Maes Community Renewable Energy Park Ltd at Rhydycroesau, near the old Oswestry racecourse, which would include over 2,500 solar panels.

The application, which has been running for over two years, was controversial as access to the site was in Shropshire, and the site for building the panels was in Powys.

Shropshire Council planners passed the access to the site, and on Friday, through planners' delegated decisions, the energy park was given the go-ahead by Powys County Council.

Oswestry parish councillor Rob Milton said renewable energy is something that is needed, and residents concerns were about site access.

He had previously said at meetings with residents that 1,300 vehicles would access the site as part of the construction.

He said: "The main concern in the beginning was about the access to the site, and residents were concerned about the state of the roads.

"This is not a great travesty that it has been passed, alternative power sources are needed it is just about where they are put, to make sure they are not a blot on the landscape."

The application is for the installation of ground mounted photovoltaic solar array, two energy storage facilities, a new access track, a temporary compound, underground cabling and associated works.

Engena, who are behind the development, have said the energy park would have a lifespan of 30 years, and will produce enough electricity for more than 550 homes.

Dozens of people attended meetings held by Oswestry Rural Parish Council, with residents last year claiming the plans were ludicrous as they contained a 101 metre wind turbine.

However the renewables firm removed the turbine from their plans, before a decision in the solar panels was made.

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