Burgh Island solar panels get officials' support

Burgh Island
Image caption Objectors say the solar panels will spoil the view of the island

Controversial plans to put 200 solar panels on an island beauty spot have been supported by planning officers.

Some local people claim the panels would ruin views of Burgh Island in south Devon, which was often visited by author Agatha Christie.

But a report by South Hams District Council officers says the panels, next to the island's Art Deco hotel, would have only a "minor impact".

Councillors will make a final decision on 18 February.

Image caption A revised plan including increased screening was submitted by the island owners

An amended plan for the panels was submitted by island owners Tony and Debora Orchard in January.

The plans included a bank and hedging to "create visual screening" for the panels on a former tennis court.

Planning officers said in their report, which recommends approval by councillors: "The sensitivity of Burgh Island is fully acknowledged.

"However, the proposed solar array would actually represent a very minor change to it. Any harm caused by the proposed development to the character of Burgh Island and its famous listed hotel is considered to be very slight..."

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