Solar farm objectors to meet Cornwall Council Strategic Planning Committee
OBJECTORS to a proposed solar farm near Luxulyan will have the chance to quiz council chiefs at a public meeting early next month.
Elgin Esco Ltd's plans for a 34-acre solar farm on land close to the hamlet of Bodwen have sparked outrage locally.
But they will now get the chance to put their concerns directly to members of Cornwall Council's strategic planning committee – who will decide the fate of the application – on September 12.
The committee has agreed to attend the next public meeting about the scheme, organised by protest group Luxulyan Against Needless Development (LAND).
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Roger Smith, of LAND, is encouraged by the fact that the Strategic Planning Committee will be attending the next meeting.
"The fact that the Strategic Planning Committee is to visit Bugle is interesting," he said, "The failure of councillors to look closely in the past at the impacts of solar farms has been outrageous so possibly this marks a change in approach - we shall see.
"It would be better still if they actually visited the sites in the parish that have been, or may be, affected."
Mr Smith said he was grateful to Bugle's Cornwall Councillor Simon Rix, whose intervention led to the committee agreeing to attend the public meeting."
Elgin's plans have caused anger in the local community, who say they are already blighted by similar renewable energy projects already established in Trenoweth and Tredinnick.
Mr Smith: "Anyone who cares about the Cornish countryside, or who believes that decisions such as this should be in the hands of local people, or that there has to be a more open, intelligent approach to the real problem of how to conserve and generate energy, would benefit from attending," he said.
Despite Elgin stating within their application that the planned solar farm will cause 'no significant harm', the objections from local people have poured in, with over 100 sent to Cornwall Council.
The meeting scheduled for September 12 is to take place at Bugle Village Hall at 6pm and is open to all members of the public wanting to voice concerns or simply listen to the current situation as it stands.
For Mr Smith and LAND the issue is not just about a solar farm, but also whether democracy and localism actually exist in Cornwall today.
He said: "The Bodwen application is opposed by Luxulyan Parish Council, local people, the local MP and the objectors are being supported by the local Cornwall Councillor; if democracy, or localism exist in reality the scheme should be rejected."
No one from Elgin was available for comment as the Cornish Guardian went to press.