Knebworth solar panel farm given the go-ahead by council

Stevenage town can clearly be seen across the field where a proposed solar farm would be built

Stevenage town can clearly be seen across the field where a proposed solar farm would be built - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans to build a 40-acre solar panel farm in Green Belt land in Knebworth have been given the go-ahead by councillors.

Knebworth solar farm

Knebworth solar farm - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans to build a 40-acre solar panel farm on Green Belt land in Knebworth have been given the go-ahead by councillors.

Despite huge opposition from villagers, North Herts District Council has agreed to grant permission to proposals from Solstice Renewables to build the farm at Swangley’s Farm in Swangleys Lane.

The company said the panels will generate 8.5 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 2,500 homes.

The solar panel farm was opposed by villagers and parish councillors from Knebworth, Datchworth and Woolmer Green, which the land borders.

Campaigners even wrote a joint letter appealing to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, to try to stop the plans going through as her son-in-law Harry Lopes is Solstice Renewable’s executive director.

Plans submitted earlier this year suggested the company plans to build on a third of the site, with the land around the solar panels still being used for agriculture and wildlife growth.

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Plans have also been submitted to create solar farms at Hall Farm, Graveley and Green Farm in Langley.