Residents express anger over proposed Knebworth solar farm

Knebworth resident Nick King is concerned with the plans to build a solar farm in nearby farmland wi

Knebworth resident Nick King is concerned with the plans to build a solar farm in nearby farmland with Stevenage town in the distance - Credit: Archant

A family whose house would be “surrounded” if a proposed solar farm is built claim it will create a blot on the landscape.

Nick King, his wife Sye Bybrow and their three children live in a cottage in Bragbury Lane, Knebworth, next to where a 50-acre solar farm could be built by Solstice Renewables.

The farm, for which a formal planning application is expected to be submitted in the next two weeks, would generate 10.5 mega watts of electricity – enough to power 3,200 homes.

Mr King, 53, believes the farm would be an “eyesore” if approved and is not in keeping with the North Hertfordshire countryside.

The software engineer said: “Half of our house would be surrounded if this farm was built. If I looked out my living room all I would be able to see would be solar panels.

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“I can’t believe this isn’t being considered to have an environmental impact by the council. It’s going to create an eyesore covering a huge area that people will be able to see it from miles away.”

Giovanni Maruca, director of Solstice Renewables, said: “Solar panels are low-lying and easy to screen. Mr King is one of a handful of residents whose properties are close to the solar park – we’ve already met with him, and others, to discuss different screening options with them.

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“We’ve adjusted our plans to provide 10 acres of field buffers so that panels will be at least 60m from their homes and these will be obscured by hedges. It is a good use of land, bringing substantial financial benefits to the community.”

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