North Tawton solar 'Eco-Park' plan sparks anger

Eco-Park site Concerns have been raised about creating an "industrial scene" on the farmland

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Countryside campaigners are fighting plans for a solar farm on 140 acres (56.6 hectares) of land in north Devon.

Kinetica Solar wants to build the solar farm, which it is calling an "Eco-Park", at North Tawton.

It said the solar farm would include an education and community resource, enhanced public footpaths and wildflower meadows.

But opponents said it was just a "sop" to the local community as there was already plenty of wildlife in the area.

The plans, which are due to go to West Devon Borough Council for consideration are for a 20 megawatt-capacity solar farm which the firm said would be enough to power 6,000 homes.

'Can't be happening'

Barbara Holroyd, who lives nearby, said: "I was absolutely horrified when I saw the plans.

"I thought this can't be happening. They seem to have thought because it's partly industrial it doesn't really matter if we have that there as well."


• 1 MW of ground-mounted solar power would provide electricity for around 210 - 225 South West households.

Source: Regen SW

Penny Mills, from the local branch of Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: "There are three other solar farm applications in the area, so we have concerns about the cumulative effect and the visual impact."

Kinetica Solar said the aim was to "develop a green space which incorporates a range of educational and environmental resources, and to improve biodiversity and generate clean electricity".

It added that the scheme could "provide a boost to the local economy, create jobs, be a place that local children can learn more about renewable energy" and "play a part in helping West Devon move away from relying on fossil fuels".

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