Fresh solar farm plans submitted for green site

The site on Tithe Barn Lane, Heapey

The site on Tithe Barn Lane, Heapey

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Residents are preparing to resume their campaign after fresh plans were submitted for a solar farm in Heapey.

Chorley Council’s development control committee last year rejected plans to erect a solar farm on Tithe Barn Lane.

The applicants, Cassidy And Ashton, have since appealed and a decision has not yet been made.

A new planning application has now been submitted to the council for a solar farm.

The proposals have been changed and would see the panels placed only on the northern part of the site.

It would be a 4.99MW solar farm - instead of the 8MW originally planned - and would generate enough electricity to power 1,515 homes.

The arrays would be placed on green belt land and sheep could graze around them.

Construction would take six to 12 weeks and the solar farm would be removed after 25 years.

Alban Cassidy, chartered town planner and environmental consultant at Cassidy And Ashton, said: “The application takes into account the concerns raised with the original scheme and as a consequence is for a much smaller area, with additional planting and the provision of nature conservation features such as a wildflower meadow.

“The boundary fencing is also much reduced in height and will be of a deer fence type which is more usually found in countryside areas.

“The threat of fracking elsewhere in Lancashire remains and with the UN stating only yesterday that all fossil fuel use should end by 2100 to reduce global warming to manageable levels, schemes such as this are vital for our future.”

But people in the area are concerned about the plans.

Chris Smith, of Kestrel Close, Heapey, said she was “very upset” that the application had been submitted, particularly before a decision had been made on the appeal.

She said: “We are going to have to fight this again.”

She added: “I think it will spoil the countryside. You can see it from the top of White Coppice. I think it will detract from people wanting to come here and walk around.”