‘Overwhelmingly positive’ reaction to Lavant solar farm bid

The proposed solar site near Lavant.''Picture by Louise Adams C130469-1 Chi Solar Site
The proposed solar site near Lavant.''Picture by Louise Adams C130469-1 Chi Solar Site

RESIDENTS have had their say on plans for a solar farm near their village.

A public exhibition of plans for a 68,676-module farm was held at Lavant Primary School on Thursday (April 4), prompting residents to turn out in force to analyse the proposals.

Out of 48 residents’ opinions recorded by Lavant Parish Council, 66 per cent approved of the plans, 23 per cent objected and the remaining 11 per cent did not specify their views.

Speaking at last week’s exhibition, Lavant resident. Geoffery Claridge, told the Observer: “There is no doubt the country must seek appropriate ways of getting green energy. But this has to be balanced against full impact.

“In this instance, the site proposed has high environmental impact. Anything which seeks to form a physical connection between the parish of Lavant and the northern boundary of Chichester is undesirable.”

Michael Hiscock, from Gaston Way, Lavant, said: “It is a very good idea – much better than wind turbines. Farms have to diversify to make money, but I don’t approve of all these green fields being built in.”

Graham Kelly, a former chairman of Lavant Parish Council, said: “First impression is that it is a good idea, but is it going to affect the overall look of the area? That’s important.”

Following the exhibition, the plan was discussed at a Lavant Parish Council meeting on Tuesday.

Cllr Eric Baldwin said: “From the residents’ opinions, we can see there appears to be nothing strategically damning about the application. They are overwhelmingly positive.”

Responding to the plan, councillors said they would like to see the site screened ‘appropriately’ by hedges, but saw no reason to object to the proposals.

Councillor John Slipper said residents’ support for the solar farm seemed to be ‘fairly healthy’, and the council agreed to ‘stay neutral’.