The STA and the UK National Solar Centre (NSC) have contacted Graham Harvey, the Archers agricultural advisor, with best practice planning produced by the NSC which advises on sensitive siting of solar farms and against the use of high-grade agricultural land.
Although Archers characters Brian and Jenny Aldridge have expressed concerns, the Solar Trade Association and the National Solar Centre are urging them to press the fictional Borchester estate to pursue best practice in solar farms, to ensure that the local wildlife, farmers and the local community benefit.
Jonny Williams, Associate Director, the National Solar Centre, commented:“A solar farm would be a fantastic opportunity for Ambridge to make the most of the sun’s free and unlimited energy – and show the world the benefits of solar. However, it is vital that Borchester Land delivers a high quality scheme that delivers real benefits to the local community. We urge them and the local planning committee to pay close attention to our guidance.”
An STA spokesman added: “David and Ruth Archer would find their financial woes lessened if they had solar to help mitigate the risks of increasingly variable weather on their sheep and lamb business.”