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Seend meeting held with Claire Perry MP to discuss proposed solar farms

Claire Perry, MP for Devizes, attended a meeting in Seend Community Centre on Saturday 8th February held with around 100 members of the public.

Sir Mathew Thorpe chaired the meeting which included a presentation by Jack Churchill spokesman for Wiltshire Protect, followed by remarks from John Kirkman Chairman CPRE Kennet regarding the cumulative impact of Solar Farms. Claire Perry MP then spoke, following which a question and answer session was held. No one was available to attend from Wiltshire Council.

A petition signed by 300 residents of Seend was presented to Claire Perry MP which it is hoped she will present on behalf of her constituents to Parliament. The petition states: “The village of Seend in Wiltshire has 203 acres of solar farms under construction within a five mile radius. As a resident of Seend I oppose any further applications around this village.”

On Friday 7th February it was announced that a 20 acre solar park is proposed on land associated with Rew Farm, Seend, Melksham, Wiltshire, SN12 6NG. A public consultation event will take place at The Barge Inn, Seend Cleeve on Wednesday 19th February between 3.00 and 7.00pm.

595 acres of solar farms are proposed within a five mile radius of Seend. If developed these solar farms will generate 108.7 MW of renewable capacity.

If the county of Wiltshire is to meet its share of the national target for 30% of electricity generation from renewable sources, the county should be generating 367MW from renewables by 2020*.

The figure of 367MW can be generated from about 2000 acres of land. This means the rural valleys surrounding this village of Seend will be supplying nearly one third of the whole county’s renewable energy requirements.

Like many in Wiltshire, the residents of Seend are generally in favour of renewable energy but question whether these are the most appropriate locations for industrial scale solar farms to be sited when taking into account the size of the entire county.

About Wiltshire Protect:

• The ‘Wiltshire Protect’ group is against the cumulative effects of solar farms being located in any one residential, rural area of Wiltshire.

• These industrial solar farms are entirely developer lead. Wiltshire Protect urge Wiltshire Council to urgently identify the most appropriate sites within the county and encourage, incentivise and work with developers and farmers to develop these locations.

• Wiltshire Protect urge the UK Government to suspend planning consent for all solar farms until tighter legislation is introduced to ensure solar farms are sited in the most appropriate locations.

Website: wiltshireprotect.co.uk Facebook: Facebook/wiltshireprotect  Contact: wiltshireprotect@gmail.com