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CALL TO ACTION! APPLICATION SUBMITTED FOR PROPOSED SOLAR PARK (107 ACRES) HADDON/ELTON Ref: 22/00668/FUL

PROPOSAL: Installation of a solar park to export up to 22MW (AC) electricity, comprising up to 65,000 photovoltaic panels, 10 inverter/transformer cabins, a single control building and associated works at land North East of Bates Lodge, Peterborough Road, Haddon

An Application for the Solar Farm at Haddon has now been SUBMITTED and objections to these proposals will need to be made by 8 August.  The Application can be viewed here: https://publicaccess.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/online-applications/ and enter in the SEARCH box the case reference number 22/00668/FUL, or by looking up the application on this website listed under Planning Applications. It is crucial for your/our collective objections to win support at the Planning Committee (which makes the decision) that as many objections as possible are submitted prior to 8 August to reflect the significant level of objections that exist against this proposal from the local community, from our local Councillors Tim Alban, Marge Beuttell and Simon Bywater and also from the three Parish Council chairs for Elton, Chesterton and Alwalton. Every person resident in any home or business can lodge an objection; below is a summary of the objections that have been raised locally.

How do I make a comment? 1. Online, 2. In writing, 3. By email.

  1. You can comment online at https://publicaccess.huntingdonshire.gov.uk/online-applications/.  Please note that some Public Access functions may not be available between 10pm and 1am each day while system back-ups are carried out. If you do not already have an account on public access, you will need to register first to be able to make a comment.

Once registered you need to search the application you wish to comment on using case reference number 22/00668/FUL, select the comments tab, ensure your personal details are correct, enter and submit your comments.  Please make it clear whether you are supporting or opposing the application.

  1. You can also make comments on applications in writing. Please make sure you:

quote the planning application reference number

include your name, address and contact number

make it clear whether you are supporting or opposing the application.

You can send your comments to:

Planning Services
Huntingdonshire District Council
Pathfinder House
St Mary’s Street
Huntingdon
Cambs
PE29 3TN

  1. You can also make comments by email to developmentcontrol@huntingdonshire.gov.uk.  Again, please quote the planning application reference number, include your name, address and contact number

and make it clear whether you are supporting or opposing the application.

Please note: if you want an acknowledgement that your comments have been received, you need to write this in your letter or email.

SUMMARY OF OBJECTIONS RAISED SO FAR

A summary of the objections that have been raised by local residents and neighbours are below for you to share with local residents and friends and we would encourage as many as possible to make their feelings known by sending an objection by making reference to any or all the below that capture your feelings.    

  • Significant scarring and destruction of beautiful local landscape with 65,000 industrial solar panels (3.5m high panels covering 75 football pitches) visible for considerable distances along one of highest points in Huntingdonshire
  • The loss of 113 acres of productive agricultural land for Food Security of the nation that has been farmed successfully for hundreds of years
  • A radical ‘change of land-use’ for a minimum of 40 years that more than likely would become irreversible for future generations
  • Considerable soil damage and pollution to agricultural land including to Billing Brook (running along western edge) with a change of use requiring significant infrastructure, heavy machinery, hundreds of tons of concrete, steel, glass, plastic, metal and thousands of metres of trenches (ballast, sand, cabling and piping) all generating significant CO2 emissions and requiring removal to landfill at end of life undermining sustainability. 
  • Unprecedented destruction and changes to soil, natural drainage, wildlife, natural habitats, fauna and flora
  • The development contradicts the government ‘Landscape and Nature Recovery Plan’
  • Potential risk to aviation safety for Sibson Aerodrome and RAF Wittering
  • Inexperience and financial stability of Wessex Solar Energy based in Morpeth, Northumberland to operate a project for 40yrs when according to Gov.uk free company information from Companies House this company is 3 years old having been dissolved and reincorporated in 2019.

A further set of objections have been raised by a senior group of local parish representatives:

  • Destroy the landscape not only of the immediate vicinity but of the wider part of the district since it will be very visible from viewpoints for many miles around.  It is worth noting that the greater part of this landscape was set out as part of the 18th century enclosure of the parish and most of the hedgerows and oak trees planted at the time, still remain.
  • Massively reduce the ecological bio-diversity of this area.  As noted, the proposed site contains mature hedgerows and a significant number of mature native trees.  It also contains Billing Brook and its valley and associated streamside habitats…a very significant local wildlife corridor.
  • Present reflections from the panels which could compromise flying safety, there being Sibson airport within 1 mile and possibly also present a hazard to motorists on A605.
  • Destroy the ability of good quality agricultural land to produce food for the foreseeable future at a time of national food security concerns likely to last many decades.  Solar panels could be sited on brownfield sites such as old aerodromes, old industrial sites or the roofs of modern large scale buildings such as the mega warehouse sheds of Greater Haddon on the east side of the A1.