The Inspector noted that planning permission had subsequently been granted for a 5MW solar farm on part of the appeal site and therefore focused on the impact of an additional 20,000 panels on the site.
The Inspector considered that the proposal would be “intrusive and have an adverse impact on the local character of the unchanged tranquil, rural landscape”. She considered that the solar panels would be visually overwhelming from some footpaths and that the two additional fields of solar panels would greatly increase the visual impact of the proposal, despite proposed mitigation measures.
The Inspector considered the benefits of the scheme, however, she attributed very substantial weight to the significant harm to the character and appearance of the surrounding areas and considered that this would significantly and demonstrably outweigh be benefits of the scheme.
Councillor Huw Ellis, Chairman of Selattyn and Gobowen Parish Council, commented:
“We at Selattyn and Gobowen Parish Council are vindicated by The Planning Inspectorate’s decision to dismiss The Solar Farm Appeal at Rhos y Gadfa. The Inspectorate’s findings resonate with our misgivings and concern that this development would have brought to our area. It was an alien proposal that would have scarred this quaint, peaceful untouched area of Rural Shropshire.
The Parish Council took on board the concerns of our parishioners and after a series of public meetings we worked together to secure this positive outcome. The considerable input from the community at all stages in the process is duly acknowledged and appreciated and the result shows what can be achieved by working together as a collaborative group. This Parish Council is not anti-renewables, there is a significant role for its deployment on the rooves of existing buildings and houses which is in line with current ministerial policy.”