DEVELOPERS have challenged a decision to turn down controversial plans for a solar farm which were opposed by equestrian gold medallists Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester.
Pathfinder Clean Energy UK Dev Ltd was refused permission in July to install the solar panels on around 34 acres of farmland north of Stream Lane in Upleadon in the Forest of Dean.
Forest of Dean District Councillors voted to reject the scheme after concerns were raised it would harm the sights from May Hill.
The solar panels, which would have powered more than 2,600 homes, were met with strong opposition from dozens of residents and the parish council.
Among those objecting were British dressage gold medallists Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin along with Italian rider Vittoria Panizzon who use the nearby narrow country lanes for riding.
Upleadon parish councillor Eddie Wood said he is totally against these applications which are taking up good farming land.
“We are getting hundreds of acres taken up. You include that with all the housebuilding that’s going on. Future generations are going to have a terrible problem getting enough food to feed them.
“The day’s already here where we can’t produce enough food for our own people. It will be very difficult to eat those solar panels. We’re not going to get very fat on them!”
Consultants working on the scheme told the planning committee that the solar project is a vital part of addressing climate change.
“They said solar energy produces no pollution and the plans represent a homegrown source of energy at a time when global costs of energy are affecting households and businesses across the UK.
Pathfinder Clean Energy UK Dev Ltd has appealed against the council’s decision and whether the scheme gets the go-ahead or not will be decided by a planning inspector in due course.