A LEADING councillor has welcomed plans for to build Britain’s biggest solar park on Deeside, despite residents’ fears.
Compton Group is planning to put up about 180,000 solar panels on a 90 hectare site near Weighbridge Road in Sealand. It would be the biggest solar park in Great Britain.
At an initial public consultation event held yesterday in Connah’s Quay, Cllr Christine Jones, who sits on the council’s planning and development control committee, said the development would not have a detrimental effect on people’s lives. She said: “I don’t think it will affect anyone because it is not near to residential properties.
“We do need renewable energy. It is massive at the end of the day but we are used to getting power stations on our doorstep. It is nice to see a renewable one for a change.”
Some residents attending the event at the Quay Building in Fron Road were concerned about the location of the park, which would be built on agricultural land.
Edward Aldard, of Burton, Wirral, said: “The only concern is a waste of the best agricultural land in Wales. If it was a brownfield site I would be all in favour of it.”
Councillor for Little Neston and Burton, Kay Loch, echoed Mr Aldard’s fears. She said: “I am all for this in the right place but I am not convinced this is the right place.
They can be visually intrusive.”
Lee Bagwell, senior ecologist for Atmos Consulting, representing the developers, said: “The site itself is largely arable so the ecological value is not high. We may look into putting bird and bat houses in. There are a lot of enhancement opportunities.”
The planned site will hold 180,000 solar panels spread over 200 acres north of Deeside Industrial Park.
The scheme is being proposed by Swansea-based Compton Group.
In a letter sent to Sealand Community Council, Pegasus Planners, who are assisting the Compton Group, say the benefits of such developments are
“considerable” and include ‘a decreasing reliance on fossil fuels, greater protection of the environment and the reduction of greenhouse gases’.
The letter added the development would also “ensure a constant and affordable source of energy, contribute to economic stability and provide a further form of diversification to support rural communities”.
A formal planning application has yet to be submitted for the park.