Plans submitted for solar farm at Bromfield, Ludlow – I’m supporting the scheme

One of the real problems with solar farms in my book, windfarms too, is that they don’t supply power locally but plug into the national grid. That destroys the link between locality and renewable energy. That’s one reason why a solar farm proposed at Acton Scott was thrown out by the South Planning Committee earlier this week. It didn’t supply electricity locally, so why did it need to be in the AONB where the landscape has the highest levels of protection?

What I like about the proposal for a solar farm at Bromfield is that up to a quarter of its power will be used in the local quarry and the Ludlow Food Centre. It is also on old quarry land and on a site that can only be seen from the railway. It’s not in the AONB or visible from it. That’s why I am backing this proposal while I was resolutely against the plans for a solar farm at Acton Scott. Continue reading “Plans submitted for solar farm at Bromfield, Ludlow – I’m supporting the scheme”

Consultation on Ludlow community hydro scheme Friday 5 September

The Ludlow Hydro Co-operative will be holding a consultation exhibition on the proposed community hydro scheme on the Horseshoe Weir in Ludford, prior to seeking planning permission for the scheme.

4-7pm, Friday 5th September in the Gallery, Ludlow Assembly Rooms.

The scheme, three years in the planning, will operate as a co-operative with the capital raised a community share issue. It will save about 65 tonnes of CO2 annually, generating enough electricity for around 40 households.

Further information from jeremy@shareenergy.coop

Earl of Plymouth plans solar farm at Bromfield

The Earl of Plymouth’s estate is planning a solar farm in Bromfield. It will be north of the gravel pit and food centre, squeezed between the railway and the Corve. The plans are at an early stage.

I think solar farms and wind turbines make an important contribution to our energy mix. I love Bryn Titli in Radnorshire because it is sensitive to the land it sits on. It is so aesthetic it should have won the Turner Prize for art. But I have raged against plans to build turbines near Lyveden New Bield and Naseby in Northants in countryside too special to be wrecked by tin windmills. I’d do the same if anyone planned a major solar or wind scheme within or adjacent to the Shropshire Hills AONB.

I don’t yet know whether I am in favour of the Bromfield scheme or not. Continue reading “Earl of Plymouth plans solar farm at Bromfield”

Solar panels on Ludlow Library anyone?

The Shropshire Star and BBC report yet more planning applications for greenfield solar farms in the county, including at Condover.

I am not so keen on building solar farms in green fields. After all, one of the biggest industries is county is tourism and that relies on the beauty of green landscapes.

Energy minister Greg Barker has made it clear that he wants solar panels on the roofs of car parks, warehouses, supermarkets and other sites where they will not interrupt countryside views. The government’s emerging strategy on solar farms says as much.

Here in Ludlow we have a modern library which has southward gently sloping roofs. These are ideal for solar panels and they won’t one bit distract from the building’s beauty (or ugliness – take your own view on that).

So wake up Shropshire Council. You could generate a lot of electricity, make money to run the Library and take the pressure off our green fields.

There are lots of places we can put solar panels without eroding one of the county’s greatest assets, its green fields.