Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Creeting St Peter: exactly how ugly is a solar farm anyway?

No sooner do I retire from the Parish Council fray than a front page headline appears in the Bury Free Press referring to a proposed solar farm on the south east edge of the parish. Apparently, an open house meeting had been held in the village to allow residents to find out more, but residents living near the proposed site were interviewed by the newspaper, voicing their concerns. And, according to the representative of those behind the project;
On Thursday July 25, MS Power Projects met with members of the local community and delegates from both Creeting St Peter and Creeting St Mary Parish Councils at a public exhibition. All the members of the local community and delegates of the respective councils were invited to attend the public exhibition, which was held at the Church Hall in Creeting St Peter.
This was, I admit, news to me, so I did a little research. There was some information on the Creeting St Mary parish website, with a helpful and quite interesting FAQ, but nothing on the Creeting St Peter site. The company behind the proposal, MS Power, on the other hand, has remarkably little information on its website, but appears to be credible enough.

The proposal itself provides an interesting dilemma. There is no doubt that our dependence on fossil fuels is a threat to our energy security as a nation, and sustainable renewable energy offers a means towards ensuring that we can generate our own power in the future. And when there are suggestions that capacity may be overtaken by demand within just two years, a project that could be up and running relatively quickly would appear to be a good thing.

There is, of course, an immediate impact on those people who live within close proximity of the proposed site, and I am sympathetic, to some extent. The views in this part of Suffolk, whilst not spectacular, are quite pleasant, whereas a solar farm, with two metre security fencing around it, might not be so attractive.

So, some obvious pros and cons to be considered. Fortunately, they'll be considered by someone else...

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