Efforts to establish a solar farm with 65,000 panels have been thwarted due to apprehensions surrounding the “irreversible loss” of vital agricultural land.
Wessex Solar Energy had envisioned a 102-acre solar farm in Haddon, Cambridgeshire, capable of supplying renewable energy to power 7,713 homes annually.
Despite these green energy aspirations, the planning committee of Huntingdonshire District Council has, for the second time, turned down the proposal.
When approached for comment, Wessex Solar Energy remained silent.
The application drew 106 objections and 49 supportive comments, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
In a previous rejection in December, the proposed location, situated north-east of Bates Lodge on Peterborough Road, faced scrutiny from council officers who argued that it did not convincingly prove the avoidance of irreversible loss of prime agricultural land.
The application was revisited by the committee in light of changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), emphasizing the substantial importance of supporting energy efficiency and low-carbon heating improvements.
In response, a recent council report acknowledged the need for a shift towards low-carbon alternative energy generation. However, when put to a vote, eight councillors opposed the proposal, with only one in favor.
Conservative Eric Butler expressed his stance, stating, “I have thoroughly reviewed the new NPPF, and I do not believe it brings about significant changes.”