More of Devon’s Farmland lost to another Solar Farm – 14th April 2022

Today, Torridge District Council’s planning committee voted unanimously to agree with their planning officer’s recommendation and to permit the massive solar farm at Webbery, near Bideford. All the arguments local residents and ourselves put forward in opposition to the proposal were ignored.

Solar Farms take farmland out of food production, farmland which in Devon can produce the finest meat and dairy products in the world. We need to Farm for Food. Perhaps the elected councillors who made the decision to industrialise more of Devon’s countryside could explain where they think our food will come from?

Solar Farms remove farmland which, if sustainably and regeneratively farmed, store huge amounts of carbon in the soil. Solar Farms have a massive carbon footprint because of the huge amount of diesel and coal used to mine, refine, manufacture, transport and install all the tens of thousands of solar panels and other equipment, usually from China made by slave labour. In fact because of the large amount of necessary maintenance, such as cleaning the solar panels and managing the grass and scrub using big machines and herbicides, more fossil fuel would be used and the soil would be severely degraded and no longer a carbon sink. And what happens to the solar panels full of toxic materials at the end of their life? Do they just go to landfill? How is any of this good for the environment?

Solar Farms do not produce electricity when we most need it – in winter when it is cold and dark. They produce most electricity in the middle of the day in summer when we already have a surplus of electricity. On average, they only produce electricity about 10% of the time, when we all use electricity 100% of the time. So solar farms don’t help solve the energy crisis.

The natural environment we have all enjoyed in Devon is now under increasing threat from so much development on our green fields and green spaces such as this. Please join us and support our fight to protect Devon’s farmland and countryside from any more unwanted solar farms. You can support our special crowdfunding campaing here