Plans for a solar farm spanning an area equivalent to 1,700 football pitches comes across as “frightening” to local residents.

Lightsource bp aims to erect solar panels across three locations in northern Anglesey. These panels would generate sufficient energy to supply over 130,000 households.

The Maen Hir Development Would Dwarf The Largest Active Solar Farm In The UK BY Nearly Five Times

The Maen Hir development would boast a capacity of 350MW spanning over 3,000 acres. It would dwarf the largest active solar farm in the UK by nearly five times.

Source: Lightsource bp

Developers assert that the solar and energy storage project, that will require the approval of the UK government due to its sheer magnitude, would contribute significantly to achieving net zero targets.

Some Individuals Have Already Voiced Their Opposition To The Plans

The developers have also expressed intentions to invest in education, skills, and job opportunities on the island.

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However, some individuals have already voiced their opposition to the plans, raising questions about the scale of the development and expressing concerns about the loss of valuable agricultural land.

Not The First Solar Development Venture On Anglese

The Maen Hir plans encompass three distinct sites: Rhosgoch, land south of Llannerch-y-Medd, and the northern bank of Llyn Alaw reservoir. However, this is certainly not the first solar development on Anglesey by any measure.

Source: Pexels/Gustavo Fring

A 49.9MW development, spanning over 190 acres, was recently constructed near Rhosgoch. Additionally, last year, a 35MW development received planning consent. It covers approximately 150 acres of land near the villages of Caergeiliog and Bryngwran.

The Proposed Solar Farm Is Being Classified As A Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP)

Due to its significant size and anticipated energy output of over 350MW, the proposed solar farm is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).

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Hence, in this case, the final decision will be made by the ministers of the UK government, rather than the Welsh government or the Anglesey council. The final decision will be based on Planning Inspectorate recommendations as the project falls under the category of a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).

William Hughes, A Local Resident Lives Close To One Of The Three Designated Sites

William Hughes resides close to one of the three designated sites where Lightsource bp intends to install the solar panels.

Source: Wikimedia/David Dixon

Last year, another separate solar project spanning over 200 acres was constructed in close proximity to his residence near Amlwch.

Hughes Is Concerned About The Potential Loss Of High-Quality Agricultural Land

With over 50 years of farming experience in the region, Hughes is concerned about the potential loss of more high-quality agricultural land.

Source: Flickr/KayYen

Hughes told the BBC, “These plans are quite frightening.” He added, “We are losing good quality land here on Anglesey.”

Concerns Regarding The Value Of Residential Homes

Hughes expressed concerns regarding the value of residential homes. He told BBC, “From where I live there is a glare from them.” Hughes asked rhetorically, “Will they take away from the value of our houses?”

Source: Flickr/Andy Hares

Hughes asserted, “We live in such a nice place and we should try to keep it as nice as we can.”

Another Development Comparable To The Large-Scale Project Is Already Underway

Currently, the largest development of its kind in the nation is the Llanwern Solar Farm in Newport, boasting a capacity of 75MW.

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The Maen Hir project would be nearly five times larger than this development. Yet, a comparable development is already underway between Faversham and Whitstable in Kent, with an estimated cost of around £450 million.

Lightsource Bp Spokesperson Said They “Respected Local Concerns”

A Lightsource Bp Spokesperson told the BBC that the company “Respected Local Concerns.”

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The spokesperson also emphasized that whatever is happening now is “only the start of the process.”

Land Will Remain Available For Grazing Even After The Installation Of Solar Panels

It is anticipated that the land will continue to remain available for grazing even after the installation of solar panels. Additional screening measures will be implemented to mitigate any visual impact.

Source: Flickr/Dom Pates

The spokesperson said, “Currently, our proposals for Prosiect Maen Hir are in the preliminary stages.”

The Company Is Encouraging Local Residents To Participate In The Consultation Process

The spokesperson told BBC, “Work is being undertaken to identify the most appropriate areas of the land available to us for development in advance of consultation taking place later this year.”

Source: Pexels/Hoan Ngọc

The spokesperson expressed the company’s desire for local residents to play a role in informing and influencing the development, encouraging their participation in the consultation process.

The Members Of Amlwch Town Council Have Expressed Their Strong Opposition To The Project

Even though the project is still early in the planning stages, the plans are already been scrutinized by some of the local community councils in the area. One of them is Amlwch Town Council.

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The members of Amlwch Town Council have drafted a letter expressing their firm opposition to the project.

“Very Strong Feelings” Among Council Members

Amlwch Town Council Chairman Gareth Winston Roberts stated that there were “very strong feelings” among the council members.

Source: Pexels/Ron Lach

He emphasized that previous solar schemes had failed to create permanent jobs, which he argued were greatly needed in the area.

The Question About The Kind Of Effect It Will Have On People Living Nearby

Roberts said, “Neither Anglesey nor other local councils have the right to make a decision at the end of the day, nor do Cardiff, and I think that is unfair on us in Wales.”

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Roberts also raised the question, “What effect is it going to have on nearby people?”