EAKRING PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of a meeting of the Parish Council held on
Wednesday 10th July 2013 at 7.30 p.m. in the Cator Hall
Present: Mr L Haslam (acting Chairman), Mrs M Curry, Mrs S Wilson, Mr R Howes, Mr R Brown, Mr P Lambert, Mrs J Chow, Cllr R Jackson, Cllr B Laughton and 13 Parishoners
Apologies: Cllr F Taylor.
Planning: Bilsthorpe Solar Farm
Mr Haslam invited the three representatives from the developers of the proposed Bilsthorpe Solar Farm to explain their scheme and answer questions from the Parish Council and the assembled Parishoners.
An outline of the Company was provided and it was explained that the site would cover 30 hectares on elevated land with 32,000 panels each 1to1.6 by 0.6 metres mounted in groups of 4 x 6 or 4 x 12. The groups would be on a framework set on aluminium posts fixed into the ground at an angle of 25% facing south and would be up to 2.7 metres in height. There will be no reflections from the panels and if there were they are facing SW so that is not towards Eakring. There would also be 8 associated buildings. The whole site would have a security fence around it.
The Farm will take 4 months to build and the lorries involved will have agreed routes. Once constructed it will require little maintenance.
The Developers stated that it had been designed to have low visual impact and that they had taken in mind concerns raised initially about protected species of wildlife and had reduced their plans from the initial stages.
The Parish Council and Parishoners made numerous points and asked many questions and strong feelings were expressed. It was pointed out that with developments of Wind Turbines, National Grid, now a Solar Farm and possibly an incinerator many felt a pleasant rural village was being ruined. Others questioned the claim that there would be low visual impact and believed that this had not been tested by visiting Eakring. The question was asked what would Eakring gain from the development but when pressed, on more practical benefits the representatives said there would be no Community Fund as the returns were far lower than on wind farms, however, they might be able to assist with wildlife projects.
The Developers said they had nothing to do with the proposed Energy Centre and they did not have a plan B if the planning permission was turned down. Cllr Laughton asked if they would appeal if NSDC turned their planning application down and they replied yes if they felt they had a good case.
Although the meeting recognised that the Solar Farm Developers were not responsible alone it was reiterated a number of times that the cumulative effect of all the recent developments and proposed developments around Eakring’s borders was having an adverse effect on the on the village environment and the life of its residents
Concluding proceedings Mr Haslam thanked the guests for attending the meeting and hoped they understood the strong feelings expressed by many of those present.
The meeting closed at 8.50. p.m.