LOCAL people are being urged to attend a public consultation of plans that would see a solar farm created just to the south east of Redditch near Inkberrow.
Located at Roundhill Farm, off Earls Common Road near Stock Green, the company behind the scheme, JBM Solar, says the proposed solar farm would generate enough clean, renewable energy for over 18,000 homes and save more than 1,200,000 tonnes of carbon compared to fossil fuel generation.
However campaigners against the plans say it would be a blight on the landscape and totally unsuitable for the area.
“Solar panel have their uses, but on brownfield sites and on rooftops like on Redditch Eastern Gateway,” said nearby resident Phil Coathup.
“I mean, why isn’t that huge Amazon building covered in solar panels?
“This is good agricultural land they want to use up – and it can’t be that bad because they’ve just planted wheat on it.
“Do we really want it covered in solar panels for the next 40 years?”
A further sub station would be built just off the Saltway near Redditch.
Locals say the move is like a ‘Wild West land grab’ destroying the views in prime ‘Archers’ country and taking farming land out of food production.
Despite this London-based JBM Solar says if given the go-ahead the site would featured enhanced footpaths with educational boards detailing local wildlife, picnic benches and an outdoor classroom/work space for local schools and community groups.
A wildflower meadow/native hedgerow and trees would be planted and that this would result in a minimum 94 per cent gain to local wildlife through the installation of bird boxes, beehives, insect hotels, log piles and bee habitats.
Plus it would provide 50kw of free rooftop solar for any school, community building or church in the parish, as well as contributing around £7m in local business rates.
The public consultation is on Tuesday, May 3 from midday to 7pm at The Sports Pavilion, Inkberrow Sands Rd, Inkberrow, WR7 4HJ.
People can also comment by visiting http://roundhillsolarfarm.co.uk.
Consultation is open until May 24, 2022.