Neighbour ‘horrified’ at plan for 74-acre rural solar farm

Exhibition of plans for a solar farm for Wicken.'131216M-B761
Exhibition of plans for a solar farm for Wicken.'131216M-B761

Wicken villagers saw plans for a proposed 74-acre solar farm at a public exhibition at Wicken Sports Club on Monday.

Solar farm developer Haymaker Energy Ltd is putting forward the plan for the solar farm at Mount Mill Farm, near Wicken.

The site is in open countryside south west of Wicken and Deanshanger and north of the A422.

The planned installation would comprise rows of south-facing solar panels up to 2.4m in height, set at a 20 to 25-degree angle to the ground, along with electrical infrastructure including inverters, security fence supported by CCTV, transformers and switchgear to allow connection to the electricity network.

Haymaker says the land can still be grazed by sheep when the panels are in place.

Chairman of Wicken Parish Council, Philip Ivens, who owns neighbouring Sparrow Lodge Farm, said: “I’m horrified. It’s just concreting over more green and pleasant land, which is diminishing all the time.”

Mr Ivens said the parish council would discuss the application at its meeting in early January, and would be inviting people to attend and have their say.

He said: “Parish councils have very little power but we shall do what we can.

Director of Haymaker Energy, Harry Shepherd-Cross,said: “The purpose of the exhibition was to gauge public reaction to our proposals prior to finalising our plans. We were very encouraged by the level of support we received and will be looking to address any of the concerns which were raised by a few local residents prior to submitting an application.

“We will also be attending a meeting with Wicken Parish Council in the new year to answer any further questions.”