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In my opinion: Fields of glass are destroying the Cornish landscape

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 12, 2014

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South East Cornwall’s beautiful landscape is being devoured by solar panel farms and many more are creeping along the planning pipeline.

Agriculture and tourism are the lifeblood of the county.

Long term, less land means a reduced capability to produce food and during these uncertain days of international terrorism, surely worries about food security should not be dismissed.

Not so long ago our farmers saved the nation from starvation, now they are being paid to turn this life- giving asset into commercial ‘power generation stations’.

As for our tourist industry, for how long will visitors want to holiday here with fields of glass rather than grass to look at?

The impact of rainwater run off on our overstrained waterways remains to be seen and common sense dictates that these high-wire-fenced concentration-camp style, eyesores are bound to have a detrimental effect on the value of homes in affected areas. Would you set up home near one?

Finding myself midway between two solar farms currently under construction near Doddycross, Liskeard, allow me to explain to your readers what its like to live through the installation process.

Work started on December 2 when a 40-tonne articulated foreign lorry arrived in our access lane, due to misguided sat nav.

Residents of three households and a working farmer were blocked in for hour and a half before it could be extricated, in the process of which some underground waterpipes and a hedgerow was damaged.

The three and a half mile access route from Merrymeet, through Pengover and Wheal Honey to Doddycross for all site- bound heavy plant is entirely along unclassified country roads with few passing places.

In the run up to Christmas lorry after lorry roared in with hardcore to firm up site entrances and internal roadways, then once work started, residents for miles around had to listen to the incessant rattle of a pile driver knocking in metal poles. Since Christmas the rattle has been relentless.

Coupled with this, residents have been terrorised by the continual excessive speed of daily monster traffic to and from the site and have had to involve police.

Our roads are in utter chaos with frequent traffic hold ups, filthy and damaged surfaces to drive on with large chunks of hedgerow gouged out here and there.

It’s about time Cornwall’s planners put a simple colour-coded map of the county in the newspapers to show all existing solar farms and all those at the proposal stage, so that the public can see just how much of the county they intend to devastate.

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