Solar farm plan will have no impact on 'light, noise or smell'

Pathfinder House in Huntingdon

Pathfinder House in Huntingdon. - Credit: HUNTS POST

Plan for a solar farm to be built on a landfill site on the outskirts of Warboys will not impact the environment, planning consultants have said.

The plan has been the subject of several campaigns by local residents who have long-running concerns about pollution.  Woodford Recycling Services wants to put up 168 solar panels on an acre of one-acre of land on an existing raised bund to the north of a landfill haul road which serves the dump.

The landfill site, which had been a brick works, closed to the disposal of waste in 2018. Woodford now uses land there for recycling, skip hire and waste management services.

People living nearby have been concerned about the way waste, including hazardous material, had been disposed of by previous operators and were concerned about pollution seeping from the dump, a claim that Woodford has refuted.

In an application to Huntingdonshire District Council for permission to install the solar panels, consultants for Woodford said: “The development would not result in the loss of any land in agricultural use, given it’s location impacts on the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside will be limited and it will not give rise to any noise, odour, obtrusive lighting or any other impacts which would adversely impact on the use and enjoyment of the surrounding countryside.”

The application said: “Given the location of the proposal it will have limited impact on the surrounding environment, of the immediate surroundings comprise earth bunds and buildings associated with the former landfill site.”

It said the nearest homes were around 130m from the site and there would be little or no impact from noise, light and smell on them. There would also be no impact on heritage assets or their settings.

The application said that although the panels, in three rows of 56 standing up to 2.3m high, were on a raised bund, they would be screened by trees and hedges.
Consultants said that the scheme met national and local planning policies and that where there were no constraints against development, planning permission should be granted.

Plans to build a heat and power plant designed to burn 48,000 tonnes of scrap wood each year were approved by Cambridgeshire County Council in 2018.
The scheme, which also faced objections, included equipment to evaporate 65,000 tonnes of waste water, a tank farm and a combustor with a 25 metre chimney.