The owner of land in Annesley which will be turned into a solar farm if planning permission is granted has hit back at claims that it would be ‘vandalism’ of the green belt.
A number of residents living in the area around Warren House, off Warren Avenue, have objected to proposals to create a 9.2 hectare solar farm on fields there.
Their fears have centred on the destruction of wildlife habitat, reflections off the solar panels and it paving the way for more development on green belt land in the area.
However a representative of the landowner says that the idea is to actually protect the area from more destructive types of development while generating an income and a much-needed source of clean energy.
Jayne Beare, who speaks for the landowner and solar company e zero, said that the plans have been submitted to Ashfield District Council after years of research and surveying of the land.
“The landowner has been looking into this for years.
“It has not been an easy decision but she is looking for an income to maintain the land,” Jayne said.
While putting together the plans, the applicants have commissioned studies of the flora and fauna of the land, looked at the water supply and soil and studied any possible glint or glare from the panels in order to avoid it occurring.
The plans include bee and bat conservation projects and animals will still be able to graze underneath the panels if the landowner wants.
The development will also generate enough green electricity to supply more than 1,000 UK households.
Jayne said: “They have been so thorough to cause the least vandalism that they can.”
She added that it is necessary because of the high costs of maintaining the land.
“By allowing solar or wind to go on that land, we are preventing urban sprawl from a housing company buying it to put on a housing development,” she added.
“The landowner wants to keep the land there for future generations but who’s going to give her the money to maintain it?”
The planning application is being considered by council officers who will make a recommendation as to whether it should be granted or not. The planning committee will then vote on the plans at a meeting.