Derbyshire campaigners to hold 'fun day out' to fight plans for large-scale solar farm

Campaigners are hosting a fundraising day out for families in Derbyshire to help them fight proposed plans for a large-scale solar power farm.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 9:02 am

Save Our Countryside Action Group have organised the day trip in Alfreton to help residents discover scenic countryside while also fundraising to object plans by German energy contractor Kronos Solar for a solar farm in the Amber Valley.

Campaigners argue the proposal for the large-scale solar farm in the fields around Alfreton and Oakerthorpe, the equivalent size of around 155 football pitches, will cause ‘devastation’ to landscape, along with a ‘massive’ loss of habitat and ‘huge reduction’ in available farm land.

While Kronos Solar maintained that the site could retain grazing sheep between the 310 acres of solar panels, grow hay and be used to keep honey bees.

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Plans for new solar farm near Ufton Fields Barns. Local residents.
Plans for new solar farm near Ufton Fields Barns. Local residents.

The solar energy contractor also said the farm would be used to generate 49.9 megawatts of electricity each year, enough to power 11,500 homes, although fencing several metres tall would be installed to keep out deer.

A Kronos spokesman added: “The use of this land for solar energy along with the continued agricultural use, biodiversity and landscaping enhancements should be considered an acceptable development proposal as there will be no loss of any higher-grade agricultural land.

“The UK has ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving towards a low carbon society. The benefits of delivering renewable energy are substantial and far reaching, both for current and future generations.”

Campaigners have since organised a day out for families near Alfreton on Sunday, July 4 to encourage donations to take on the plans, which begins with breakfast at Pesto at The Peacock, Oakerthorpe from 10am.

Plans for new solar farm near Ufton Fields Barns.

Tea and coffee will also be served while an array of stalls will be set up from 11am along with a military display featuring Jeeps and a GMC cargo truck operated by soldiers in US uniforms will be performed outside the cafe.

A nature walk of 1.8 miles will also begin from The Peacock around the same time, covering the site of the proposed solar farm with a suggested donation price of £5 per family.

The fun day also includes a raffle, games and children's entertainment, along with face painting and balloon modelling.

Artisan jewellery, home and beauty products are among items on sale, while prizes such as champagne, meals out, a distillery tour, activities and vouchers for local businesses are also up for grabs.

Chairman of the Save Our Countryside Action Group John Cleary said: “We’ve organised the fun day and walk across the application site to raise awareness of the impact that the solar farm will have on local landscape and visual amenity, heritage and ecological assets highly valued by the local community.

“As responsible environmentalists we’re also keen to promote commercially viable alternatives to large-scale ground-mounted solar farms.

“Our research suggests that south-facing commercial roof space in the UK could support well in excess of the solar capacity required to achieve the government’s net zero emissions target.

“New technology, such as lightweight solar film, would have no visual impact on the landscape, would minimise disruption to the local area during installation, and would deliver power to where it is most needed.

“Join us for a fun day out and help save our much-loved local countryside.”

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