Concern at plans for 45-acre solar farm

An example of a solar farm
An example of a solar farm

A £9 million solar farm covering 45 acres with 28,000 panels could be built near Princes Risborough.

A planning application has not yet been submitted, but Hive Energy has been consulting on plans to build on a site in Bledlow.

The company, which already runs several solar farms around the UK and has 14 others in the planning pipeline, is expected to build on land near Forty Green Farm.

An action group has been set up by residents opposed to the plan and the issue has been raised with Aylesbury MP David Lidington.

The action group say the farm will be visible from various viewing spots in the Chilterns and provide no benefit to the surrounding community. There have also been people concerned that the development will have a negative effect on house prices.

Hive said the farm will not be visible to nearby residents because of hedging and have no impact on house prices.

If given planning approval, Hive said there would need to be around 70 lorry movements to build the farm and, once complete, it will produce enough electricity to power an average of 2,1000 homes annually and offset around 75,000 tonnes of C02.

Julian Pertwee, the company’s business development director, said: “Solar is one of the greatest options to get towards the renewable energy target.

“We know there is some opposition but we would love to get people behind it. We always try to take on board any opposition and minimise the impact. It’s not going to affect the value of houses and will not affect people’s views.”

Hive will be holding its next public consultation on the plans in Bledlow on August 30, which anyone is welcome to attend.

Mr Lidington wrote to Wycombe District Council after people concerned about the plan spoke to him about it.

Responding, the council said: “If and when a planning application is considered, the environmental and other impacts would be assessed alongside the potential benefits of the scheme.

“Whilst various forms of development would be unacceptable in principle, development of this type, which does not accommodate anyone and which cannot easily be located in urban areas, is not unacceptable ‘in principle’.”