Protests sparked by solar panels scheme

Diane Brough with fellow Belton residents at the site of the Solar panels.  (Buy this photo E1564TS) Picture: Tony Saxton
Diane Brough with fellow Belton residents at the site of the Solar panels. (Buy this photo E1564TS) Picture: Tony Saxton

Isle villagers are up in arms over plans to site over 8,000 solar panels in a field close to people’s homes.

About 20 Belton residents turned out to voice their fears about the proposed project off Green Lane, at a parish council meeting last week. They raised concerns of increased traffic, a lack of consultation time over the plans, and the impact of such a scheme on the village.

Parish council members agreed to oppose the planning application that is currently before North Lincolnshire Council.

Coun Tony Ferris said: “We were unanimous in our objection to the application on grounds of it being in open countryside on historic farmland, and because of the impact on wildlife. There are plenty of brownfield sites in Scunthorpe that could be used before green field.

“Green Lane is a minor road not built for heavy traffic, and it would be lorries using it while the system was constructed. We agreed with the residents and the points they raised entirely.”

He continued: “This isn’t a case of NIMBY mentality. We have valid reasons for objecting to the plans.”

People who live on Green Lane close to the proposed site are angry that only five residents were contacted by letter, and now just one week of three remains to make comment.

The potential site has horses next to it, and is opposite homes including that of long-term residents Diane and Peter Brough.

Diane Brough, 53, said: “There’s been no consultation. We are worried this could spoil Belton. It won’t benefit us because the power produced will all pass straight to the Grid, not for specific local use.

“We have spoken to the leader of the council, Liz Redfern, who said she will back us because like us, she thinks it’s in the wrong place.”

The parish council has written to North Lincolnshire Council to register its formal objection.

It believes there could also be potential hazard from glare to aircraft flying overhead, from Sandtoft airfield, and Robin Hood Airport.

Mrs Brough added: “There’s a strong reaction. These panels would be up to 10 feet high and freestanding. They’re not little.”

The Bells was unable to contact land owner Mr T. Bletcher. A North Lincolnshire Council spokesperson said: “We have received a planning application proposing a ground mounted solar PV system in Belton. This is going through the required consultation process. This includes letters sent to residents near the site, press notices and site notices to inform people. We have received a number of objections, which will be considered throughout.”