Uffington Parish Council official Response


Mallard Pass Stage 2 Consultation responses, including those received after the Councils submission to Mallard Pass Uffington Parish Council encouraged residents to respond to the Mallard Pass Stage Two Statutory Consultation by leaflet drop to residential properties within the Parish. We requested that they send copies of their comments to the parish clerk.

Copies of 41 responses were received by the clerk. Although many respondents acknowledged the need for renewable energy to help mitigate climate change, none supported the proposed solar farm in its present form, the consensus being that it would be preferable to put the solar panels on brownfield sites or on the rooftops of industrial or domestic buildings.

One respondent although supporting the proposal in principle questioned the required output of the site and suggested alternative methods of producing green energy.

The principal objection to centring the solar farm on Essendine and its neighbouring rural villages, expressed by 39 respondents (95%), related to the loss of prime agricultural land with the resultant need to import more food from abroad; it was observed that this would paradoxically increase the carbon footprint of the food supply chain. Thirty-four residents (83%) objected to the negative visual impact that the solar panels, security fences and lighting would have on the countryside, and twenty-nine were specifically concerned about ecological damage leading to a loss of wildlife habitat and biodiversity. Twenty-one specifically stated the size of the project area as one of their objections. Fourteen expressed concerns about the reduction in the number of traditional footpaths and bridleways and six about the detrimental effect that a loss of green space and associated exercise opportunities would have on mental and physical health. Eleven respondents were worried about an increased risk of flooding and five were concerned about potential destruction of undiscovered archaeological sites. Three felt that tourism would suffer.

Twenty six(63%) of respondents were worried about the obstruction of country lanes, pollution and risk of accidents to car drivers, horseriders and pedestrians that would be caused by site traffic during the construction phase. One resident feared that, once established, the site might be extended further, while another predicted that technological advances would render the solar farm obsolete before the end of its 40-year tenure.

Concern was also expressed that, at the end of its operational life, the site might not be properly cleared and returned to farmland and open countryside, with safe and efficient recycling of the solar panels. There were questions raised regarding the safe storage of any Batteries on the site. Concerns were expressed about the probable importing of panels from China and the resulting negative carbon footprint.

On an ethical note, sixteen respondents expressed concerns about the possibility of human rights abuses and the use of forced labour during the manufacture of the solar panels.


Uffington Parish Council

Published: Monday, 15th August 2022