Westcountry MPs force guideline change on solar farms
Westcountry MPs have launched a vicious attack on the proliferation of large-scale solar power farms that risks turning the countryside into a "wasteland".
The withering criticism, led by Devon MP Sarah Wollaston, has forced the Government to revise planning guidance to ensure swathes of photovoltaic (PV) panels do not scar rural areas, it was revealed yesterday.
In Westminster Hall in Parliament, MPs from Devon and Cornwall made the case for solar to be confined to roof tops and brownfield sites.
Totnes Conservative MP Dr Wollaston said that a 75-acre solar array at Diptford, near South Brent, Devon, was "effectively an industrialised desert".
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She added: "It is hard to convey the scale of these or how much they cause devastation to the landscape."
Sheryll Murray, Conservative MP for South East Cornwall, said: "They need to be in the right place with local support."
Energy Minister Greg Barker told MPs that officials "will bring forward in a matter of weeks revised planning guidance".