BRILLIANT news, the ridiculous Broughton solar panel complex has been thrown out by the planners.
However, one councillor apparently voted in favour. He should be named and shamed and thrown off at the first opportunity as clearly they have no interest in the preservation of the glorious Test Valley they purport to represent.
But just as that news was being printed a new threat comes glinting over the horizon.
Another similar vast scheme (called Abbotts Ann) to cover some 45 acres adjacent to the existing Barrow Hill solar panel complex (we failed to stop).
This new scheme awaits the usual sham process of public consultations before going to full application.
Apparently on the literature ‘Sheep may safely graze’ beneath these panels so they may imply it’s a sort of environmentally friendly ‘farming crop’.
As others have pointed out on your letters page before, this is just marketing rubbish – just like the picture of a wheatsheaf on the pack of a factory-baked loaf.
How much longer do we have to suffer this relentless drip drip of development threats? Solar factories, wind turbines (Bullington Cross), housing sprawl (Picket Twenty, Thirty, Forty). How many more green acres to be lost forever? Even the nightmare of potential fracking as a serious consideration.
By the way, glad to see your editorial comments last week.
Surely it must be time to consider requesting designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty linking the AONB of the Wessex Downs to the north with the New Forest National Park to the south. Such status could just afford some better protection against these constant development threats.
Of course (if printed) this will provoke the usual green carbon emissions gullibles and the let’s grovel to European dictat gang.
I just ask that they take a walk up Danebury Ring and look to the once brilliant Hampshire view to the north – and now note the huge blot on the landscape which is the existing Barrow Hill complex – then try to imagine another 45 acres blighted looking west. Ruinous!
Let’s hope the Broughton plan rejection may have set some sort of notional, or even legal, precedent to save us from any further creeping solar panel blight.
A final point (to provoke again, perhaps). If these solar panel units were taxed as industrial business units with those rates instead of as quasi agricultural sites on favourable (carry forward/ never pay) terms then perhaps local landowners would stop trying it on, as it were.
However, just like the fracking debacle, that’s down to Government, and as you so rightly asked at the end of your piece, we need to know where councillors (and new MPs) stand before we get to vote to save the Test Valley.
As I said before (but you didn’t print it) Test Valley, Not Frack Alley.
C Somers-Cocks, Barrowfield, Goodworth Clatford.