The Solar Farm Residents group is a group of residents, the majority, from the roads around the proposed Solar Farm and others from the villages of Bramley and Silchester who are opposed to this Industrial sized solar installation. The group was founded after ENSO submitted an EIA screening opinion for the Solar Farm to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council in August 2020. The group is entirely funded by donations from its members and is not aligned to any commercial organisation
At 200 acres it is twice the size of Silchester and will dominate the countryside between Silchester and Bramley. This would be much more like a factory estate than a farm.
Unlike many other solar farms – this one will be highly visible from public pathways, the surrounding road network and a multitude of residences. Indeed, it would be right on top of many footpaths.
It will be an eyesore – blighting the Pound Conservation Area a mere 100 yards away and the setting of many heritage listed buildings and other homes close by.
The villages of Bramley and Silchester will no longer be separated by green fields and it will damage our sense of place. The open and rural feel to the area will be lost.
Let’s face it – Enso has chosen this land for their convenience because it is next to the sub-station. Then Enso has tried to mislead you by claiming this is poor agricultural land.
The well-used and loved Brenda Parker Way and Silchester Trial go right through the heart of this land. They will be wrecked by 6.5ft mesh fencing, CCTV, 11ft high transformers and battery containers that look like shipping containers. I also note the applicant misleadingly plots these footpaths as straight paths – they are not.
Can we trust this company?
Enso Energy have a paper trail of 23 barely existed companies which raises concerns over where they came from and what would happen if they go bust or cannot afford the huge cost to reinstate the land after the panels are past they sell by date. They have not offered a bond to guarantee their removal.
Enso’s so-called community engagement prior to application has been nothing short of a disgrace. The have failed repeatedly to include Silchester Parish Council and many residents in the Pound Conservation Area. Yet they seem to have engaged residents on the other side of the railway line and further afield all the way down to Sherfield-on-Loddon who may rarely if ever cross into this part of the neighbourhood.
As a community we recognise and support the use of solar energy as a concept. However, this need to be accommodated on brownfield land, the roofs of houses and warehouses, disused quarries and low qualityagricultural land.
To drop in thousands of highly visible panels on well used good quality agricultural land, that contains cherished public walkways, roman archaeological remains and family homes right next them will change the area and damage important community assets.
“I Didn’t Realise it was that Big.”Local Resident
“They [Enso Energy] are throwing false community benefits like sweets”Cllr Mike Baldock
“The countryside should not be regarded as an industrial site for wind or solar energy”Professor James Lovelock
“The solar farm will cause a loss of sense of place”Cllr Simon Mahaffey