Landscape and visual effects thwart solar farm scheme

The siting of 43,500 solar panels on almost 20ha of land in north Devon would give rise to unacceptable landscape and visual impacts which would not be outweighed by the government's desire to increase electricity from renewable sources, an inspector has decided.

The site did not lie within a designated landscape area but the solar panels would be a substantial construction with their edges defined by straight lines and right-angled steps. It would intrude into the landscape of an upper valley, the inspector determined, and this would be coupled with substantial visual intrusion on the outlook of residents in a property approximately 60 metres from the site. While this would not give rise to unbearable or unacceptable living conditions it would intrude on their outlook and amenity. Taken in combination with the impact of an existing wind turbine and the setting of a listed building the scheme did not involve a sustainable form of development.

Inspector: Bern Hellier; Written representations

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