PLANS to build a solar farm at a Standish eco-farm are in the ‘very early stages of planning’ say developers.
Residents living next to the newly opened Thompson Equestrian Centre and eco-farm on Pepper Lane received letters outlining plans for the solar powered project earlier this week and were offered the chance to hear from the company behind the project at a meeting at Standish Community Centre on Tuesday morning.
Martin Ainscough, who owns the eco-farm, moved to reassure residents and insists that plans are at a very early stage and even if the project goes ahead it will not affect residents.
Mr Ainscough said: “It is very early days yet and we have not yet put in a planning application with Wigan Council.
“If the plans go ahead it would see a 30 acre site at the back of the current eco-farm which would be well away from the views of the residents of Pepper Lane.
“It was always part of the project plans to propose the solar farm and it isn’t visually imposing. It isn’t the equivalent of putting up a wind turbine for example.
“The power generated from such farms is pumped back into the national grid and then the farm would be credited back once the amount of electricity it produces is ascertained.”
However, there was nearly a gaff by those behind the solar farm project.
Organisers sent residents a letter telling them the meeting yesterday morning was taking place at Standish Village Hall – in Gloucestershire!
After realising the mistake a new letter was quickly issued reassuring residents they would not have to travel 150 miles to attend and that it was in fact at the Community Centre on Moody Street.
One Standish resident, who did not wish to be named, said that he had reservations over the project.
He said: “To hear of a huge solar farm on green belt land is a concern. As far as I’m aware, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) group are against these farms on green fields so they will have to show there is exceptional need for it.”
A spokesman for CPRE said: “CPRE is an advocate of reducing carbon emissions to reduce climate change risk. We recognise that renewable energy can make an important contribution to this, but not at the expense of the beauty, character and tranquillity of the countryside.”