Solar farm proposals opposed by villagers

Protestors against the solar farm which could be built on land in Mawdesley

Protestors against the solar farm which could be built on land in Mawdesley

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Public consultation is set to take place over a proposed controversial solar farm in the Chorley countryside.

MS Power Projects Ltd is seeking to get the go ahead for the 38-acre scheme on green belt land at Mawdesley, near Chorley.

But villagers say they are strongly opposed to the bid.

The Mawdesley and Heskin Solar Farm Protest Group is fighting the scheme on the following grounds: visual impact of such a large industrial installation; impact on local wildlife; increased traffic along small rural roads; impact on rural recreation and local business.

However, Chris Brake, MS Power Projects Ltd planning and operations director, addressed the parish council, plus around 100 residents at a meeting.

He said: “Having heard the views of the local community, we are in the process of reviewing our assessments to ensure that we take on board constructive planning considerations.

“When these assessments are complete, we will seek to hold a public consultation/drop-in session ahead of a formal planning submission to Chorley Borough Council.”

The protest group said: “In our opinion, we feel this meeting was an insult to those present and that Chris Brake attended the meeting, not to answer questions, but to simply fulfil the community consultation obligation required prior to submitting a formal planning application.

“There was considerable anger and frustration amongst the audience towards Heskin Old Hall Farm and its representative agent MSP in failing to address, intentionally or otherwise, the genuine concerns of the village residents present.

“The protest group is totally committed to fighting this proposal.”

Earlier this month, Chorley Council’s development control committee threw out plans for a different solar farm in Heapey. Councillors voted to unanimously reject the plans, which were submitted by Cassidy + Ashton.

They said it was an inappropriate development for the green belt. It is the second time the committee had rejected that project