MARLOW’S green belt could soon look like this – after plan emerged to build a ‘solar farm’ on land in Little Marlow which could supply enough power for 1,500 homes.
Energy company Anesco say they will submit an application to erect solar panels on land which has long been earmarked by Wycombe District Council for a riverside country park.
It is not the first time controversial project on the land between Marlow and Little Marlow, after the construction of a running track in 2012 sparked fears in the community that the greenbelt was under threat.
Developers have previously expressed a desire to use the land for housing, which was strongly opposed by groups in favour of using the land for a recreational country park, a council backed scheme in the pipeline for decades.
Little Marlow Resident, Martin Braint said: “It’s one thing putting the panels next to the motorway, but putting it on the greenbelt is another thing. They are very intrusive and there are far better things to do with the land.
“Marlow is beautiful, and popular because of that. The beauty is slowly getting nibbled away and huge amounts of steel work won’t help.”
Chairman of the Marlow Society, Martin Blunkell also expressed concerns over another construction on designated greenbelt land. He said: “We can understand the need for green energy – but why on land designated as a Country Park by WDC?”
Anesco says the plans are in line with national planning policy, as the proposed area of land they would be built on is former landfill site, the gravel pits.
Director of sales at Anesco, Lee Adams said: “Once complete the installation will have significant environmental benefits, generating enough energy to power around 1,500 homes.
“The site would be designed to be sustainable in every way. It would be built by local teams, create a safe haven for wildlife and would be maintained for 25 years, meaning long term employment in the local area."
WDC said it is awaiting full details of the application before it can be viewed by the public for comment.