ePetition details

Solar Farms on Farmland

We the undersigned petition the council to protect the countryside and the best and most versatile agricultural land from development of solar farms. We call for a sustainable strategy to be put in place as a matter of urgency which unequivocally avoids harm to the landscape and productive farmland.

BACKGROUND

Climate change is undoubtedly a serious threat to our planet. Solar energy has the potential to help to reduce carbon emissions; we are concerned however, that decision makers in their pursuit of renewable energy projects are causing damage to the historic landscape of Uttlesford and to our capacity for food production. As former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Lord Pickles said ‘Meeting our energy goals should not be used to justify the wrong development in the wrong location and this includes the use of high quality land. Protecting the global environment is not an excuse to trash the local environment.’

As an example, the landscape setting of the medieval village of Thaxted is being destroyed by solar farms spreading to some 200 acres on its east side and there is now the threat of another large solar farm being constructed on the highly sensitive western fringe.

The industrialisation of Uttlesford’s precious landscape will have a lasting negative impact on the following :

• Food production: large areas of the best and most versatile agricultural land will be lost.
• Heritage: the historic landscape setting of towns and villages will disappear.
• Amenity value: the enjoyment of footpaths and the countryside will be lost.
• Wildlife: the changes to habitat, the loss of established pathways and the introduction of new hazards.

As most of Uttlesford’s farmland is classified as ‘best and most versatile’, it is not suitable for large scale solar farms. Sites for larger scale developments should be sought within areas of ‘brown field’ land or on land without landscape value. In addition, planning conditions should enforce a much greater use of Solar Energy on new developments and commercial buildings.

This ePetition runs from 07/01/2021 to 30/06/2021.

554 people have signed this ePetition.