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Campaigners hold public protest near Neston
Plans for a 14-hectare solar farm on the outskirts of Neston have been branded “an attack on the way of life of rural people”, by local protestors.
Opposition to the planned farm is growing, with campaigners holding a public protest at the site on Wadswick Lane on Saturday.
Several applications have been made across the county for similar installations, with a farm already approved in nearby Broughton Gifford, and plans for the county’s largest site currently being considered to the east of Melksham.
Neighbour Charles Todd has led a campaign against the plan, and organised Saturday’s protest, which was attended by around 25 local people.
The plans have already been rejected by Box Parish Council, but were approved by Corsham Town Council’s planning committee, and will now be considered by Wiltshire Council, with the planning officer’s report due by December 20.
Mr Todd said: “We have been in touch with Corsham Town Council to see if they can discuss it again.
“Because the Neston boundary of the site is between Box and Corsham they were, as a courtesy, asked to give comment, without knowing the Corsham Civic Society had written in objection, and they decided they would support the application.”
Wiltshire councillor for Corsham Without and Box Hill Dick Tonge has promised to call in the application if it is approved by Wiltshire Council.
Mr Todd said: “We are sending out information packs to the councillors on the planning committee, which will give them all the information they need.
“This is vandalising of the countryside by opportunists. It should be prevented by the local planning authority.
“It’s a historical landscape, it has listed buildings close by, with Neston Park, and it’s very close to the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Beauty, so it’s a very sensitive natural area.
“It will mean a loss of amenities for the local people who use it as a walking, cycling and riding route.
“It’s just another attack upon the countryside and way of life of rural people that really has to be faced up to.”
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