Actor John Nettles fights plans for Devon's biggest solar farm

Actor John Nettles has said plans to build the biggest solar panel in Devon need to be reviewed because of the damage it could do to the region.

The Bergerac and Midsummer Murders star said he was appalled after plans for a 150-acre solar farm at Litchardon Cross were unanimously approved last week despite objections from residents.

He is now spearheading a campaign to try and prevent the landscape adopting a very "industrial" look.

The plans would see the fields become the home of a 150-acre solar farm.

"It is an industrial installation that will tarnish the countryside," Mr Nettles said.

"It will turn what is a beautiful landscape in to a very industrial one and I for one do not want that to happen here.

"Enough is enough. There are already several solar farms in this neck of the woods, including one on the south-eastern boundary of the proposed site and another about a kilometre away."People need to understand the enormous scale and visual impact of these solar farms. Three together would desecrate the pastoral vista in this part of Devon, turning it into an industrialised landscape of solar panels and security fencing stretching across 28 fields."

John Nettles did say that more needed to be done to reduce the region's carbon footprint.

Mr Nettles said he accepted the region needed to do more to reduce its carbon footprint but that it needed to find a more effective balance.

"What happens to them at the end of their life, do they just go to landfill? Because of all this, the carbon footprint of solar farms starts with a huge deficit. They are simply not low carbon," he continued.

The developer of the site, Renewable Energy Systems, responded saying: "The site has been through a number of design changes in response to local feedback and site survey work, ensuring the proposed solar farm will fit sensitively in the surrounding landscape.

"The site is predominantly bound by a mix of dense trees, providing good enclosure and limiting visibility locally."

The planning application was submitted in March and is not likely to go before the council's committee until later this year.

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