Planned solar farm at St Mellion is rejected by Cornwall Council planning committee
A PLANNED solar farm that would cover the equivalent of 20 football pitches in South East Cornwall has been unanimously rejected by councillors today.
The application, on land at St Mellion – close to the village’s renowned golf club and resort – was rejected by Cornwall Council’s strategic planning committee.
It had sparked fierce opposition from the golf club resort, St Mellion Parish Council and dozens of villagers living close to the site.
Ken Henley, St Mellion Parish Council chairman, told the committee: “The parish council has been overwhelmed with information, with representations both for and against the application.”
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He said that, the parish council had spotted close to “70 errors” in the application.
“It is full of false claims, omissions and errors,” he said.
“Some of the inaccuracies include that it is near a main sewer; it is not, while it also states that it is near some dwellings. There are in fact more than 70 dwellings nearby – that is quite a substantial housing development.”
Mr Henley said the parish council was strongly opposed to the scheme which offered “no direct or indirect community benefits” which contravened Cornwall Council policy.
He added: “It will have a negative impact on the local economy; a detrimental effect on the economy of the whole area.”
Andrew Long, Cornwall Councillor for Callington, said that it could impact severely on tourism in South East Cornwall while Councillor Neil Hatton, ward member for Constantine, Mawnan and Budock, said the the “size and scale was overbearing”, being so close to the village of St Mellion.
Planners said the proposed development at Dunstan Lodge, which would cover 17.8 hectares, would generate electricity for more than 2,000 homes and produce more than £1 million of green energy each year.
A petition was also signed by 104 St Mellion Park residents and neighbours and 57 senior golfers, claims the development would have a damaging effect on an Area of Great Landscape Value and a significant impact on St Mellion International Resort.
The developers, Freetricity, who have submitted the plans on behalf of the applicant Chris Bond, described the farm as a “capital investment in renewable energy”.
Nicholas Prince, speaking at the meeting, said they had reduced the size of the solar farm down from 12 MW to 8MW to negate the impact on the local environment.
He said the application was a “great opportunity” for the region to embrace green technology. He added that much of the site would be screened from view with hedgerows and planting.
The firm said consideration has been made for listed buildings and conservation areas.