Plans for a field of solar panels at Coal Pit Lane in Gisburn do not sit well with Nigel. The proposed solar farm is set to cover an area equivalent to 15 football pitches and will be an eye-sore on the landscape.
Speaking from Westminster, Nigel said:
“I welcomed the end of subsidized on-shore wind farms in the UK and the government’s recognition that wind turbines are not universally popular. I would hope that we approach solar panels with the same caution. Solar panels, like wind turbines, are not aesthetically pleasing. We do not want our rural landscapes blotted like this. We do not want all our fields covered over by glass. We do not want solar farms.”
Nigel was also keen to point out that this is not just an issue of looks:
“The planned solar panels, which will cover around 12 hectares, are estimated to provide power for only 1500 homes – barely enough to power Gisburn itself. This is a fraction of the output of other forms of power. Ratcliffe-on-Soar power plant, for instance, generates enough power for 2 million homes. As such, these solar panels, much like wind turbines, are not a cost effective way of generating power.”
Solar panels on house roofs are a great idea, Nigel believes, since they are not invasive to the landscape and can help keep energy bills for a household low. However, a fleet of solar panels obscuring the beautiful Ribble Valley is a poor choice. The appeal of picturesque villages, such as Gisburn, is in their green fields and rolling hills. Solar panels dotted around the scenery would be detrimental to this and should, therefore, be resisted.