Planners say yes to solar farm in The Langtons

A solar farm PNL-150302-131710001
A solar farm PNL-150302-131710001

The go-ahead for a large solar farm in The Langtons has been given by Harborough District council planners.

he solar panel array will be located on a 34-acre site between Thorpe Langton and East Langton.

A majority of the council’s planning committee agreed with officers that the public benefits of the proposal “outweigh the development’s less-than-substantial harm to the setting”.

Planning committee chairman and ward councillor Chris Holyoak said: “We have to take a pragmatic view. A lot of people have the feeling that solar farms are a far more benign source of energy than say a wind turbine.”

But opposition to the solar panels had come from villagers at Thorpe Langton, which is about 1,100 metres to the north of the site.

Thorpe Langton parish meeting chairman Dr Keith Wood had told the planning meeting that letters of objection to the solar farm had been sent by 60 of the 80 households in the village.

“Why spoil a magnificent panorama visible from the Leicestershire Round footpath?” he asked.

After the meeting he said: “I’m disappointed. I think this decision went against virtually every resident in Thorpe Langton.”

The parish council at East Langton, which is also close to the solar farm, had not objected to it.

And Cllr Janette Ackerley said the footpath view was not unspoilt, but already marred by pylons, the railway and a glue factory.

Councillors heard that the green energy generated by the solar farm would be enough to power 1,430 homes.

Joshua Mellor of solar energy company Lightsource told planners the site would be screened from most local homes and added that “71 per cent of people in the UK support solar power”.