Schoolboy’s scathing letter slams solar farm plans

James Foote, 15, outside his home in Farthinghoe
James Foote, 15, outside his home in Farthinghoe
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A 15-year-old boy has written a 1,500-word objection to a solar park because he thinks his mates could have put a better application together.

James Foote lives on Cockley Hill Farm in Farthinghoe, and if plans by Green Energy UK Direct are approved, a 10-megawatt solar park will be built right outside his bedroom window.

One of Hive Energy's solar parks

One of Hive Energy's solar parks

But James, who is in Year 11 at Warwick School, has joined dozens of villagers opposing the plans for the 22 hectare site on Cockley Road.

Developers resubmitted their application in August after withdrawing the first proposal in May.

But James was ‘shocked’ to see ‘barely any changes’ to an application which he described as ‘careless’ and ‘pathetic’.

He said: “I would like to say I couldn’t believe it but I sort of could.

“If we had been given the same information, a group of lads my age would have done a much better job.

“How can they read it back to themselves and think that’s a really good application?”

James, who hopes to go to university to study history or politics, spoke to his chemistry teacher about the solar park which would be ‘far less efficient than planting rapeseed’.

He said solar panel glare would reach an accident black spot on the A422 and HGVs passing Farthinghoe Primary School will ‘put innocent children at risk’.

James, a keen horse rider, said the park would make it ‘hellish’ for horses as articulated lorries ‘thunder past’.

Developers describe how the park would ‘seamlessly integrate with the rural fabric’ but James questioned if solid steel was the same as beautiful countryside.