Highlighting the scale of the solar gold rush in Cornwall, residents claim that the application is just one of 17 similar proposed solar developments put forward for within three miles, with another 13 validated planning applications, of which 11 have already been granted planning permission.
They add that plans are also afoot for 97 wind turbines ranging from 17metres to 66meters within three miles, all adding up to a “wholesale change in the landscape”.
The residents are also questioning the ‘community benefit’ offered by this and other schemes, saying they are at heart solar subsidy farming, with many owned and managed by out of county, and in many cases out of country, companies.
Also highlighted was the potential loss in diversified farm tourism business, due to the industrial impact of covering the area in solar panels, and the fall in value of property, with many house sales due to people seeking a rural idyll.
There are 17 homes and four businesses within 120 meters of the proposed site, with more than 50 within one kilometre. Commenting on the Cornwall Council planning portal, Antony Hart of Boundis Farm, said: “This is another attempt by a corporation sited outside of the county to exploit Cornwall’s natural resource for its own benefit without any regard for the local residents or the people who regularly use this area.”
Calling it an “area of natural beauty, a nature haven, enjoyed by its residents and many visitors to Cornwall”, with “tourism the main source of income”, he said the large scale of the development would have a, “detrimental impact on the residents of this small community, turning a rural haven into an industrial site”.
He added: “This is deeply objected to by the Halvasso community. Wrong location, wrong type of development in scale and type.”
No-one from Lightsource Renewable Energy’s London office was available for comment.
For full details on the planning application visit Cornwall Council’s planning website and use reference PA12/09502.