Residents speak out over proposed solar farm 'the size of 200 football pitches'

ITV News Central Reporter Ravneet Nandra hears from residents who are concerned about the solar farm proposals

Residents in Warwickshire have hit out at an energy firm after the company submitted plans to turn 279 acres of green land into a solar plant.

More than a dozen Honiley residents are campaigning and are urging more to join.

Resident's group, Friends of the Green Belt, are fighting against these plans - which could be the size of 200 football pitches.

Group member Sue said: "The scale of this proposed solar farm is enormous. It's comparable to the whole of the Kenilworth Town. It's huge."

She adds: "It's not only has solar panels which are very high, it will have shipping containers built one on top of the other.

"It will have CCTV, so it will affect the wildlife enormously.

"I think we would all be in favour of solar panels, but in the right place."

The proposed development site by Enso Energy lies close to three villages - Honiley, Beausale and Haseley Knob. 

It also backs onto local resident Richard Holgate's house, where he has lived for 15 years.

He says he would be able to see the solar panels from his home.

He said: "Even with three-meter-high hedges, you'll still see nine meters of your view taken up with solar panels and shipping containers and other infrastructure, and the fact there's actually no local benefit."

Richard adds: "So all the energy that's generated here is going to be transmitted to Solihull Borough, where it's going to enter the National Grid to be used on a national basis.

"So there is no benefit to any of the communities that are impacted."

In a statement, energy firm Enso Energy said: "We've got to change the way we generate electricity.

"The proposed solar farm would generate enough renewable energy to meet the annual electricity demands of approximately 12,000 homes and offset hundreds of thousands of tonnes of CO2 over the life of the project.

"Our proposals are in line with Warwick District Council's declarations of a climate emergency, as well as the local and national climate change targets that are enshrined in law. "

The proposed plans would be based near Kenilworth.

They continued: "In addition to generating renewable energy, this temporary planning application would provide a range of ecological and landscape improvements thereby ensuring the project provides a biodiversity net gain.

"At Enso Energy, we believe it is crucial that local communities are able to see and shape planning applications that may have an impact on them.

"That's why we conducted a public consultation process, during which we listened to local concerns and support. The feedback we received helped shape our proposals."

The group is encouraging concerned residents to submit their objections to Warwick District Council before the Friday 17 December deadline.