Village says another no to 72,000 solar panels

The solar farm is being planned for land at Hazleton Farm, close to the A3(M). Picture: Tim Ireland/PA Wire
The solar farm is being planned for land at Hazleton Farm, close to the A3(M). Picture: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Villagers are pulling together to fight off ‘yet another threat’ to their community as plans to install 72,000 temporary solar panels continue.

Residents in Burton Green are urged to attend a public meeting on Friday, August 15 to hear an update on proposals for the Nailcote Farm application.

Current plans include for over 72,000 solar panels to be placed just off Cromwell Lane to deliver renewable energy over 25 years.

First put forward in March by developer Green Energy UK, the farm would span around 84 acres of undeveloped land from Balsall Common towards Berskwell.

But villagers have already branded them as ‘unwanted’ and opposers are urged to have their say before the matter is discussed by Solihull Borough Council.

Objections must be made before September 4. The parish council and residents association will both write objecting to the proposals.

Rona Taylor, chair of the village residents’ association, said: “We will be asking for signatures to a petition and offering help with letters of objection.

“We also strongly encourage residents to write individual letters expressing their concerns.”

The scheme was unveiled to residents in March when a public consultation was launched in hope of finding an acceptable scheme.

A spokeswoman from GE-UK explained that the farm was ‘medium sized’ and that since the consultation, the proposals were reduced in size from 20MW - with a chance of further reduction to come.

“We held an initial public consultation to which we had some interest, but no plans are fixed and it is all completely up for negotiation,” she told the KWN at the time.

“We will listen to all residents and we welcome local information which will help us move forward.

“People who live nearby know this area better than anyone and their knowledge is important to us.”

Consultations are ongoing but residents remain unconvinced of the benefits.

Fears have been expressed over the loss of open countryside and for the disruption it could cause.

Some residents have branded the move “yet another blight” on their community on top of the plan for HS2 through the village.

There have also been worries raised at public meetings over what would happen to the land at the end of the farm’s 25-year life span.

The development would run from Cromwell Lane and Hodgetts Lane and it is understood electrical cables underground will feed into the existing sub station there.

The meeting will start at 7pm in the village hall and all are welcome.