Luxulyan solar farm heats up debate at meeting
DOZENS of people attended a heated public meeting to discuss controversial plans for a solar farm near Luxulyan.
Elgin Esco Ltd's plans for a 34-acre solar farm on land close to the hamlet of Bodwen have sparked outrage locally.
And more than 60 people packed into Bugle Village Hall on Thursday evening to meet with members of Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee to make their feelings about the scheme known.
Tim Warne, Cornwall Council planning officer handling the application, said that the site covered seven fields across 14 hectares of land and was expected to produce 5MW of electricity, enough to power 1,000 properties.
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It was anticipated that construction would take 12 weeks.
Chris Austin, chairman of Luxulyan Parish Council told the meeting that by agreeing to developments at Trenouth and Tredinnick within the parish, amounting to 42 acres, they had made a reasonable contribution to green energy in Cornwall.
Other arguments included:
Turning the countryside into factory land would not appeal to visitors, regardless of whether they walked, cycled or rode horses.
That one site in a parish was sufficient, but six or seven within a few miles of each other was unacceptable.
Future problems with food poverty with the growing population of this country and more cheap food imports would put farmers who continued producing food under even greater strain.
Roger Smith, from campaign group LAND, said: "Residents of Bodwen were emphatic that their rural lifestyle would be changed forever; several families with young children walked along the lane, without footpaths; that would now have heavy traffic and were one-car households with no other choice.
"Their perception of the rural area would be changed forever, with the quiet life of the hamlet being disturbed for months at a time.
"There was not one person in the hamlet in favour of the development and all felt that quality of life was going to become unbearable."
The meeting concluded with a statement that Elgin had been given a Regulation 22 request for more information and the application would not be discussed at a strategic planning meeting until this had been received.
It is anticipated the application may be discussed at either the October or November meeting.