Appeal lodged against refusal of proposed solar farm at Llanvapley

2:20pm Friday 28th March 2014

AN ENERGY firm behind a proposal to build one of the largest solar farms in Europe has lodged an appeal after the scheme was refused last year.

Camborne Energy Investments Limited lodged the appeal with the Planning Inspectorate Wales six months after a second amended application for a smaller scheme in the Abergavenny area was rejected by Monmouthshire Council.

The original multi-million pound scheme would have seen 45,000 panels placed on 66-acres of arable fields at Manor Farm on land leased from farmers Robin Foord and Bernard Blackwell.

The firm argued it would generate enough electricity to power 3,000 homes in the Abergavenny area, saving 5,360 tonnes of Co2 emissions per year and have a lifespan of 25 years.

The council refused the application in July claiming the development would be too large.

A second application for a smaller-scale scheme of 38,000 solar panels and an additional 125 trees, also failed after the planning committee went against its officers, who recommended the scheme be approved.

Resident, Jim Sharp of The Red Hart, said: “It would be an eyesore on the landscape and there is no benefit for the community.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said it is considering whether the appeal should be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

An EIA is carried out to assess the impact that a proposed project may have on the environment.

Monmouthshire Council said that consideration of the appeal would not start until the EIA is submitted.

A council spokesman said: “If and when the Planning Inspectorate accept the appeal, we (as the local planning authority) will be given a start date and we will contact everyone who wrote to us about the original application and the original consultees.”

Camborne Energy Investments Limited declined to comment when contacted by us.

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