NEIGHBOURS of a proposed solar farm near Bridgwater the size of 20 football pitches say the development would swamp the area.

Wessex Solar Energy wants to build the farm, which would be named Cobb’s Cross Solar Park, across three large fields to the south of Durleigh Hill.

The development, including 75,000 panels, ten buildings to house equipment and perimeter fences, has angered some people who live close to the site who say it will dominate the landscape.

Roslyn Allouni, who only moved onto Durleigh Hill earlier this year, said: “We are still in shock at the scale of the application.

“We had anticipated that extra housing might come to the area when we moved here but we didn’t expect anything like this.

“I fear this is going to go through and the visual impact it will have on the community will be devastating.”

But Ron Owen, director of applicants Wessex Solar Energy, said the farm would not be intrusive to neighbours.

He said: “We have put a lot of effort working to establish the right access during construction.

“Vehicles will not go through the village during construction, which would take six to eight weeks.

“We also plan to carry out landscaping to minimise the visual impact on the surroundings.

“A five megawatt development is about the maximum size for a development of this type but solar farms often have to be large to make them financially viable.

“There needs to be a mix of new energy technologies – nuclear is a part of that but we need to get what we can out of wind, wave and solar.”

To view details of the application, visit the planning pages of Sedgemoor District Council’s website and enter reference 23/12/00005. Anyone wishing to comment must do so by July 17.

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