Solar array incongruous in national park

A second attempt to secure permission for a solar panel installation to provide power to a large country house on the edge of the South Downs was judged by an inspector to harm character and appearance of the national park.

The extensive array, comprising three sets of panels some eighteen metres in length and standing over two metres in height, was proposed to be sited in a field just outside of the house grounds. In the inspector’s opinion the rigid geometric feature with metal and reflective panels would appear incongruous in the landscape and would be clearly visible from a public footpath, effectively extending domestic clutter and eroding the countryside. Giving due weight to policy support for renewable energy, and acknowledging the appellant’s attempt to overcome previous objection, the inspector concluded the proposed landscaping was insufficient to screen the visual incongruity of the array and dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Julia Gregory; Written representations

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