Toggle menu

Council calls on Government for more guidance over solar farms

Wiltshire Council has called on the Government to provide more clarity over its strategy for delivering solar farms

Published 22 May 2024

At its Full Council meeting yesterday (Tuesday 21 May), Wiltshire Council voted overwhelmingly to support a motion that calls on the Government to provide more clarity over its strategy for delivering solar farms.

The motion, brought forward by Cllr Nick Botterill, of the By Brook division and Cabinet Member for Finance, Development Management and Strategic Planning; and Cllr Phil Alford, of the Melksham Without North & Shurnhold division and Cabinet Member for Housing, expressed the council's increasing concern over the concentration of solar farms in Wiltshire.

It also asks the Government to define more closely what is meant by the 'cumulative impact' of solar farms and to ensure that solar farms and battery storage compounds are not concentrated in specific areas, effectively industrialising the countryside.

The motion was passed with 75 councillors for, two against and six abstentions.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: The motion that was passed at yesterday's Full Council meeting calls on the Secretary of State for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to define more closely what is meant by 'cumulative impact' regarding solar farms. It also requests that the Government takes clear steps to ensure that solar developments are more evenly spread across the UK and not concentrated in specific areas.

The need to protect farming and the rural way of life is extremely important and Wiltshire Council is determined to do everything we can through planning policy and every other means at our disposal to support our farmers and our rural communities.

We support the need for solar power, on the roofs of our houses and industrial buildings and on land of low agricultural value, but we do not want to see villages entirely surrounded by solar farms, industrialising the countryside.

As the pressures of climate change hit the world, food production will be placed under strain and it is vital that England and Wiltshire are looking to protect and increase food production and not reduce it to build solar farms.

To read the papers from the Full Council meeting, people can go to: Agenda - Democratic Services - Wiltshire Council (opens new window)

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email