Picture shows solar panels "slight to moderate change" to landscape
This imagine shows one of a total of 28 sites across mid Devon that have so far received planning permission for ground-mounted solar panels, the largest being a 5MW scheme for 39 acres at Ayshford Court Farm, Westleigh, pictured.
The scheme, near Sampford Peverell, was approved by Mid Devon’s planners despite concerns from Burlescombe Parish Council and local residents about the visual impact of the panels.
Cllr Heather Bainbridge, local ward member, said the nearby residents she had spoken to had nothing against renewable energy projects per se, but were concerned about the siting of this particular scheme and the level of screening of the panels.
Cllr Mel Lucas, local ward member, said he felt safeguards for the local community had been met through a number of conditions.
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A visual impact assessment submitted with the application suggested there would be only ‘slight to moderate’ degree of change to the visual character of surrounding areas, and in some ares, the visual impact would be ‘negligible’.
Network Rail had expressed concerns about the potential for train drivers to see glare or reflection of light from the panels.
The proposed site is also close to the M5 motorway and the Grand Western Canal, but members heard that their would be a 15 metre gap between the boundary of the canal and the nearest panels.