Support and objections for Richmondshire solar farm plans

File pic of solar farm. Photo. N Chadwick.

Dozens of comments have been submitted on plans for a large solar farm in Richmondshire, with both support being offered and objections being raised.

The proposal for a £30m development on land to the east of Richmond has attracted more than 200 comments on Richmondshire District Council’s planning portal.

Of these, more than 180 are from local residents, with 105 objecting to the scheme and 80 offering their support.

One Richmond resident  backing the scheme said: “Living on the outskirts of Richmond near the site and being a regular dog-walker on the rights of way through the proposed site I support the application.

“We need more green electricity and it has to come from somewhere.”

The respondent said her only concern was that rights of way were maintained and accessible throughout the construction.

Another resident said: “Energy consumption needs to switch from burning fossil fuels, electricity demand will go up as a result.

“This development will provide electricity in a clean way and is sensibly located.”

However, another resident added that while they support efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels they were “not prepared to endorse a proposal that seeks to repurpose good quality agricultural land and replace it with arrays of incongruous solar panels which will ruin the landscape and beautiful rural views for residents and visitors of the historic market town of Richmond”.

And another Richmond resident said: “A development of this significance has the potential to negatively impact the entire area.

“Whilst we all need to shift to renewable energy, the location for any such solar farm needs much wider consultation.”

Concerns have also been raised by local councillors with Easby Parish Council submitting an objection.

It concluded: “We consider that, whilst solar farms are necessary and can be well-located and screened, this particular development raises serious issues of protecting the character and environment of the approaches to Richmond and the Dales.”

Skeeby Parish Council said the scheme would be a “blot on the landscape”, while Brompton-on-Swale Parish Council said it was worried about the impact on the community of construction traffic accessing the site and that the panels would visible from various points around the village and surrounding area.

The application has been submitted by Ritchie Bland Energy Limited and Harmony Energy Limited.

The applicants say the photovoltaic cells on the 69.5-hectare site would be enough to provide renewable energy to power more than 9,000 homes and would off-set up to 17,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

The application states: “Given the technology they intend to utilise, this could become one of the first UK subsidy-free projects and a major milestone in the fight against climate change.”

For more information on the application and to comment click here.

3 Comments

  1. Maybe a load of solar panels put on the south facing bank down to the river in front of Richmond Castle would make use of this rough land and leave the good quality agricultural land to produce food for the table.

    • Even those who don’t want it, seem to agree more green energy is needed. However, no-one seems to mention the need for us to take responsibility for using LESS energy. When it comes to food scarcity, we can’t eat solar-panels, not least because they contain highly toxic ingredients: cadmium telluride, copper indium selenide, hexafluoroethane, lead, polyvinyl fluoride, silicon tetrachloride,a highly toxic byproduct of producing crystalline silicon. Apart from the risk of these ingredients to handlers on construction and disposal, will they leach into the soil rendering it impossible to use for subsequent food or animal feeding?

  2. What a terrible idea which would spoil the fine view of the castle from Slee Gill

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