Historic society backs anti-solar farm campaign

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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Britain’s oldest national conservation body has added its weight to a protest against a proposed solar farm in Mawdesley.

The Open Spaces Society is backing the Mawdesley and Heskin Solar Farm Protest Group - one of its members.

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

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the society, said: “This is an attractive area criss-crossed by public paths. These are valuable routes taking people between the villages and out into wider countryside. The panels will destroy at least two of these footpaths and spoil people’s enjoyment of other nearby routes.”

The society says it intends to make “a robust objection” when a planning application is submitted to Chorley Council.

The 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 Council.”

MS Power Projects Ltd is acting on behalf of the owners of Heskin Old Hall Farm.

The protest group said: “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 solar farm in Heapey - a completely separate application to the current Mawdesley bid by a different company.