Chippenham MP Duncan Hames raised concerns about planning permissions for solar farms and the possible effects it would have to listed buildings last year in Parliament.

In his open question on September 8, he asked: “Wiltshire Council recently permitted a well-sited solar project – it was behind an industrial estate, next to a sewage works on the outskirts of Trowbridge – yet Broughton Gifford, a small village, has had a number of applications for several different arrays in its vicinity, despite the presence of National Trust buildings and English Heritage listed buildings.

“Is the Minister confident that the protections that we give our heritage assets are appropriately recognised in respect of such proposals?”

He was told by Kris Hopkins, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government: “It is absolutely appropriate for individual local authorities to get a secure local plan that determines the shape and use of renewable energy sources.”

Mr Hames believes the ruling and potential problems it poses could have been avoided had Wiltshire Council consulted English Heritage and Mr Gerber.

He said: “I was surprised the decision to grant permission had been made by a single planning officer and not a committee of local councillors.

“I held a meeting with Broughton Gifford residents at The Bell last summer to discuss the development and I have written to Wiltshire Council and Government Ministers several times to express my concerns and those of my constituents.”

The firm behind the solar development, TerraForm Power, has refused to comment.