Isle of Wight solar farm plans criticised for spoiling views

  • In Science
  • 2022-12-08 11:07:18Z
  • By BBC

A planned solar farm could be noisy, cause road accidents and spoil views, campaigners have claimed.

Ridge Clean Energy has applied for permission for ground-mounted panels and a battery storage facility on farmland near Ryde, Isle of Wight.

The Wootton Against Solar Panels group objected, claiming the land was also prone to flooding.

Supporters insist it would boost renewable energy production on the island.

If approved, Sunny Oaks Renewable Energy Park, on land owned by Briddlesford Lodge Farm could power 5,150 homes a year and retain the excess created, for the next 40 years, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Campaign group, Wootton Against Solar Panels, submitted a 143-page objection and described the development as "industrialisation" of the countryside.

"The open views will be dominated by the conspicuous solar developments which will be incongruous with the landscape character of the area," it added.

Other issues raised by residents include the proposed CCTV cameras, glint and glare from the panels as well as concerns over construction traffic pulling out onto Whiterails Road.

One resident said they moved to Wootton for the peace and quiet and cut down conifer trees at the front of their property to enjoy the view over fields which are now proposed to be filled with solar panels.

'Comprehensive benefits'

Supporters maintain it would boost renewable energy production and would be built on poor-quality farmland which would most likely be targeted instead for housing.

While the Environment Agency had first objected to the plans, a flood risk assessment had been submitted by the applicant, dispelling its concerns.

Ridge Clean Energy said Island Roads had been consulted over traffic issues and the development was "robust in its design and comprehensive in the benefits".

"Any energy generated on the Island would reduce the dependence on mainland connection and more broadly on energy imports into the UK," it added.

Isle of Wight Council is due to make a decision on the proposals in the coming weeks.

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