Graham Cowley was looking forward to a quiet retirement. Instead this pensioner will be made a prisoner in his own home as a local solar farm surrounds his land completely enveloping his bungalow. The plans for one of Europe’s largest solar farms will be based around his property and consist of half a million solar panels and multiple wind turbines – totally spoiling his view of the local countryside. Instead he will look at a massive array of solar cells packed on neighbouring land. The deal is already done and Cowley will have to put up or shut-up and there was no consultancy period in which he could object. If that was not enough, there will also be an 8ft security fence bristling with CCTV cameras ruining his privacy too.
Graham Cowley said he was shocked when he received a letter from Peterborough City Council telling him of the scheme, which was originally intended to cover 3,000 acres. This was downgraded to a £140 million scheme on 900 acres, producing enough energy to power more twenty thousand homes.
Mr Cowley, a retired engineer, said the first he heard of the plan was in a letter to ‘The Householder’ last summer. ‘It seems like a done deal and they have their fingers in their ears. I am in favour of renewable energy but the council has tons of other land where they could build this farm.’ In Mr Cowley’s case its not so much of NIMBYism because the panels are schedules to be located right in the back yard in adjacent land.
Property values hit by solar farm
The value of Mr Cowley’s property could plummet as the once desirable peaceful location is inundated with solar arrays and of course the people and engineers visiting to ensure that the solar farm keeps work effectively. It’s not even as if he is against renewable power, simply that there are better alternative sites which would work that would not destroy the value of his home and his peace of mind. Planners must make an effort to ensure the total cost of solar farms take into account the human cost.