South Oxfordshire District Council has given the green light to plans for a new solar farm despite objections that it would disrupt public rights of way.
The council’s planning committee gave the go ahead to the 78-hectare solar farm on land at Harlesford Farm, near Tetsworth.
It is anticipated that the solar photovoltaic farm will generate 49.99 megawatts, enough to power approximately 15,000 homes.
However, the planning permission was issued against the objections of the local branch of the countryside charity CPRE.
‘We wish to object strongly to this proposed very sizeable solar farm on public rights of way grounds as it would completely smother the public rights of way network to the south of Tetsworth,’ they wrote.
‘As the M40 with limited crossing points already restricts access from Tetsworth to the surrounding countryside, placing a solar farm immediately to the south of it would therefore largely deprive residents of satisfying walking opportunities south of the village.
‘We therefore consider that the effect of the proposed solar farm on the path network south of Tetsworth is totally unacceptable and wish therefore to urge your Council to reject this application on public rights of way grounds.’