DOZENS of Compton Dando residents have objected to plans for a solar farm on Fairy Hill - close to the village centre and surrounding homes.

A planning application was submitted by Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) in December, which will eventually be determined by Bath and North East Somerset Council.

If the plans are approved, BWCE will develop 4,264 solar panels, a substation, access tracks, security fencing, CCTV, a satellite mast, gates, and grid infrastructure on land at Fairy Hill.

Local man John Dibble, who lives in the village and is among the objectors, said 77 per cent of Compton Dando residents objected to the application during a consultation. There was also said to be more opposition from Keynsham and Bristol walking groups, horse riders, and fishermen.

He says locals fear the plan will result in a loss of agricultural land and wildlife habitats, as well contribute to road safety issues. The plan has attracted some support, with one person saying: ”I believe this relatively small solar farm is proportionate to the context and B&NES needs to facilitate renewable energy production in every area.”

Mr Dibble, a village resident who objects to the plans, said: “Residents of Compton Dando oppose the proposed planning application for several reasons. They argue the site's location in the green belt and Chew Valley, a conservation area, should be protected.

“Concerns include the visual impact on surrounding views, the use of fertile agricultural land, and the disruption of wildlife habitats. Access issues via narrow country lanes and the saturation of nearby solar panel installations also contribute to objections.

“Compton Dando Parish Council informed B&NES Council’s planning department about significant local opposition to the application, noting that many supportive comments came from non-residents. They also raised safety concerns regarding Redlynch Lane, recently designated as an HGV route, particularly at the Redlynch Lane/Charlton Road junction, an existing safety issue for the area.

“Residents of Compton Dando oppose the BWCE application, stating Fairy Hill is unsuitable for industrial development despite supporting renewable energy.”

As part of the planning application, BWCE has drawn up a design and access statement, which stated: “The proposed development would be temporary in nature and has been designed so that it can most easily be remediated at the end of its operational life.

“Whilst in operation, the project would secure the management of the land for biodiversity benefits, both within the array and on surrounding land. This will be supported by a long-term management and monitoring strategy that will facilitate adaptation of the site management in response to changes in biodiversity, with a secure source of funding.

“The proposed development would comply with national planning policy as set out above and in the separate Planning Statement. It will also comply with local planning policy.

“It is therefore concluded that the proposed development is an appropriate temporary use of the site designed in keeping with its environmental context, that will assist in meeting the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions, enhance biodiversity and facilitate public access to the new community facilities.”