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GSPC Response to East Park

Great Staughton Parish Council held a public meeting on Thursday 9th November in the Village hall attended by many residents. As a result of representations made at that meeting, the following response was sent to the developers.

It has also been sent to our MP, Councillors and the Parish Council has asked James Duberly and Lorraine Goody to represent us on the inter Parish group opposing the development.

East Farm Solar Park

Response to Developer

Great Staughton Parish Council would like to make the following response to the proposals for solar Farms in Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.

The Parish Council’s response has been informed by a meeting of a large of number of residents on the subject.

There is an overall opinion that the Solar Farm development is excessive and disproportionately large and too close to villages. The Parish Council is generally very supportive of renewable energy projects as it has demonstrated in its support for projects such as the solar farms on Staughton Moor which are neither intrusive or excessive.

The Parish Council would make the following points in relation to its objections:

- The siting of the panels on site C in Gt Staughton would be north facing, which is suboptimal and would involve more land mass than necessary elsewhere (to prevent shadowing over the solar panels).

- The proposed location of East Park site C would destroy a very important view across the Kym Valley and of the village of Great Staughton including views of the ancient Manor and the Church. The footpath across the ridge on the Moor affords these special views. The Solar Farm would destroy this view and screening would only make it worse as the view would not be visible because of the screening.

- The walks designed around the village footpaths 23, 34, and 40 would be seriously impacted by solar Farms together with bridleway 7 into Hail Weston Parish. These walks were specifically designed in the 1990’s with the co-operation of the landowners, Parish Council, and the community to provide easy access to the countryside for the residents of the Parish.

- The Parish Council has also identified in the exhibitions that there is a sub-station and battery depot within site C. These details are not reflected on the distributed literature nor on the website. We would like precise details of what is proposed in terms of these buildings in terms of size and shape.

- The area covered by Site C if covered with solar panels may well not have the same ability to absorb rainwater as the current agricultural land. This could result in faster run off in water on to the river Kym and then downstream. This area is already subject to regular flooding resulting in properties being flooded near B645 bridge over the Kym. The road has also been closed on a number of occasions resulting from flooding. The Parish Council believes that these issues may well be exacerbated by the potential increased run off from the solar farm.

- The loss of important reasonable quality agricultural land is exacerbated by the North facing aspect.

- The Parish Council feels that the solar farm site C impacts on the heritage aspects of Great Staughton exemplified in the Conservation and listed buildings area along the Highway and the Causeway along the Southern perimeter of site C.

- The Parish Council would also like to establish whether there is any noise pollution from the proposed solar farms.

- The Parish Council does not see any provision for how the construction vehicles would approach the sites along the very rural roads. If constructed it is vital that the construction traffic is routed away from existing rural roads and villages.

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