Controversial plans for a 48,000-panel solar farm rejected

Proposals for a solar farm have been thrown out
Proposals for a solar farm have been thrown out

Plans for a ‘very prominent’ solar farm have been rejected by councillors and slammed by the Ramblers Association.

Haymaker Ltd wanted to build a solar park generating up to 12MW of renewable energy at Handley Park Farm, just north of Silverstone and 2km south-west of Towcester.

But South Northants Council said a park on the 25 hectares of Grade 3 agricultural land would have an ‘adverse visual impact’ on surrounding landscape and enjoyment for walkers.

The council met yesterday, Thursday, and decided the plans should be refused.

In the officer’s report, the developers were criticised for a ‘lack of archaeological investigation within an area of known archaeological interest’.

It also said there was a ‘lack of crime prevention’ with regards to how CCTV would be operated and monitored.

The appearance of the proposed farm was described as being ‘very prominent and incongruous in its rural setting’.

Towcester Town Council supported the plans but the parish councils of Abthorpe, Whittlebury and Silverstone all objected to the farm being built.

There were five letters of objection from local residents and the Ramblers Association slammed the plans as they would obstruct the panoramic views across the site from pathways.

The report also stated that there already is a solar farm located at Shacks Barn Farm, to the east of the A43, which is clearly visible from the site.