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You Can’t Eat Solar Panels and We Need Food

Solar farm set to ‘blight landscape’ in Cheadle



                        What the solar farm could look like


PLANS have been unveiled for another solar farm which could power up to 1,500 homes.

By The Sentinel  |  Posted: May 26, 2015

Dozens of residents attended a public consultation to view Solstice Renewables’ proposals for the 32-acre development at Draycott Cross, Cheadle.

It is expected to have a capacity of about 5 MWp, which the company says could save around 2,150 tons of carbon dioxide a year.

The 24,000 solar panels would be located in fields off Cheadle Road



Les Elkin, from Cheadle Road, is against the plans. The 61-year-old said: “They are taking good farm land up and it will spoil the landscape.”

Initially, the Wiltshire-based energy company considered a 52-acre site, but this has now been reduced to 32 acres.

Keith Farmer, who also lives in Cheadle Road, believes the revised scheme is better.

The 58-year-old said: “I would have been looking at part of the solar farm before they reduced the plan so, for me, it has changed visually. It will be well covered by trees, so my view won’t be affected and that was my only concern. Although there are other people that live close by who will be affected.

“I would love to have solar panels on my property, but I can’t on a listed building. I’m all for it, but there are better places. They shouldn’t have to take up farm land.”

The company says if the project goes ahead, a community benefit fund would be set up, which would pay £1,000 per MWp installed capacity for the 25-year lifetime of the solar park. This is likely to amount to £5,000 a year and Solstice Renewables would work with local parish councils on how this could be spent in the area.

Giovanni Maruca, director of Solstice Renewables, said: “This area of land, already blighted by large pylons, is fragmented, difficult to farm, and close to a wind turbine, so it’s ideal for generating solar energy.

“Inevitably, some people who came along to the consultation were worried, but others were very supportive of generating local green electricity. Overall, our design will have very little impact, with the hedgerow screening we are proposing.”

A planning application is due to be submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council shortly.

Last week The Sentinel revealed the same company had unveiled plans for a solar farm in Barlaston.


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