Somerset solar farm proposal criticised ahead of decision

Residents objecting to a planned solar farm in Somerset say it will adversely affect the landscape if it is built.

Planning officials have recommended that councillors approve green energy firm AEE Renewables' proposal for a 22,000 panel farm near Doulting.

Campaigner Stephen Stokes said it was "lunatic" to be covering the Mendip hills in solar panels.

The firm said it would benefit the community. Mendip District Council will meet later to discuss the plans.

An AEE spokesman said the company was working with the community to address its concerns.

He said the planned development would provide more than 1,400 homes with clean energy.

Other benefits include enhancing biodiversity through newly-planted hedgerows, offering residents the chance to have low-cost renewable energy in their homes, and a solar installation for the local primary school.

Mr Stokes, from Ingsdon's Hill Preservation Society, said brownfield and industrial sites should be considered instead.

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