Flare-up over plan for Trowbridge

Sam Gaiger with the plans for the renewable energy project at Cockhill Farm

Sam Gaiger with the plans for the renewable energy project at Cockhill Farm

First published in News by , Senior reporter for Trowbridge

Residents voiced their disapproval about the size of a solar farm proposed for Cockhill Farm in Trowbridge, at a public consultation last Thursday.

Gaiger Solar, which was set up by Devizes-based builders Gaiger Brothers, is behind plans for a 20 megawatt solar farm covering 40 hectares at Cockhill Farm, off Cockhill Road.

It would generate enough renewable electricity to power around 6,000 average homes and save about 9,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year compared with electricity generated from fossil fuels.

However, neighbouring residents believe the solar farm will have a huge visual impact and are concerned about the effect it will have on their house prices and the wildlife if it goes ahead.

John Jones, who lives at Lady Down Farm with wife Bronwen, said: “To cover open green land with loads of solar panels is disgraceful.

“We have incredible views right across to Bradford on Avon which will be lost if this goes ahead. They are talking about screening it, but it takes years for hedgerows to grow.

“Nobody here is against solar power, but they have their place and should be on brown field sites or on new houses. We will do all we can to stop this going ahead.”

The site consists of two fields and is bounded on the north by the Kennet and Avon Canal, with the main railway line to the east, sewage works to the south and A363 Trowbridge Road to the west.

Steven Burton, of Westcroft Street, said: “If they put them on the roof of new buildings it would make sense, but I’m not sure I agree with covering such a huge site.”

A community benefit fund will be established, paying £1,000 per MW installed capacity for the 25-year lifetime of the solar farm – amounting to £20,000 a year or £500,000 for the lifetime of the project.

Sam Gaiger, director of Gaiger Solar, said about 50 people attended the consultation. He said: “Twice as many people said they supported our plans as opposed them.

“Understandably, some of the neighbours are concerned about the potential impact on their views, so we are working with them with the aim of reaching a satisfactory solution to make sure the site is well screened.”

Gaiger Solar has recently had a planning application for a 10 MW solar farm at Marsh Farm, Hilperton, approved by Wiltshire Council’s planning department, under delegated powers.

Comments (4)

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2:58pm Sat 10 May 14

Darned_peasants says...

Nimby motherduckers !
Nimby motherduckers ! Darned_peasants
  • Score: 0

8:12pm Mon 12 May 14

Mrs_Green says...

It's such a shame that people think it's ok to cover 100 acres of green belt in 80,000 solar panels. Wouldn't it be better if every roof where possible had solar panels on it, thereby saving our countryside for crops & animals.
Does anyone know how big the carbon footprint of a solar panel is?
It's such a shame that people think it's ok to cover 100 acres of green belt in 80,000 solar panels. Wouldn't it be better if every roof where possible had solar panels on it, thereby saving our countryside for crops & animals. Does anyone know how big the carbon footprint of a solar panel is? Mrs_Green
  • Score: 4

9:59am Tue 13 May 14

moonrakin wurzel says...

If there was any point to solar panels one might have some sympathy for them - as it stands they are simply a route to charging poor people more for their electricity.

No subsidy = no solar panels

And before greenie wantwits start bleating - go and do the arithmetic against other energy saving techniques like GSHP and COGEN - but you lot don;t do arithmetic do you?
If there was any point to solar panels one might have some sympathy for them - as it stands they are simply a route to charging poor people more for their electricity. No subsidy = no solar panels And before greenie wantwits start bleating - go and do the arithmetic against other energy saving techniques like GSHP and COGEN - but you lot don;t do arithmetic do you? moonrakin wurzel
  • Score: 1

7:45pm Tue 13 May 14

moonrakin wurzel says...

no subsidy...

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/science-enviro
nment-27393805
no subsidy... http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/science-enviro nment-27393805 moonrakin wurzel
  • Score: 1

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