Denby solar panels could ‘blight’ village

A birds' eye view of the areas marked for a 47 acre solar panel farm in Denby.

A birds' eye view of the areas marked for a 47 acre solar panel farm in Denby.

A 157-acre solar farm proposed for land to the west of Street Lane in Denby has been met with concerns from land campaigners and villagers.

A planning application to place 7,000 panels on mainly farm land off Street Lane in the village has been submitted by renewable energy company Freetricity.

If they are approved by Amber Valley Borough Council the panels would supply up to 18 mega watts of energy into the national grid - the equivalent yearly power usage of 6000 homes .

But as a portion of the proposed site falls on Green belt land - many campaigners see it as a further blight on the borough’s countryside.

Chair of the action group Amber Valley SOS Sylvia Mason, said: “I am all for solar energy and prefer the idea to hideous-looking wind farms, but there is no need to take up valuable greenbelt or agricultural land for it.

“Solar panels should be located in places no one uses, such as roof tops and lamp posts.”

Freetricity says the one-by-two metre panels arranged in rows are not permanently fixed to the ground and say many find the ‘modernity of such panels ‘aesthetically pleasing’.

Stephen Wiseman of the company said: “It is important to note that most of the land was open cast mining land and is not fit for producing crops and only used for grazing.

“If the land does not find a sustainable planned use then the owners would be left with no other option than to sell off to commercial development, Solar makes a positive environmental use.”

Freetricity intends to lease the land, owned by four seperate farms between Street Lane and the A38, for a 25 year period.

A decision on the plans is expected by February, with the deadline for objections to the council set for November 26.

If approved, the construction of the farm would take three months.




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