doc

PLANS to build the biggest solar farm in Oxfordshire have been dropped.

The proposal to build 50,688 solar panels on farmland on the edge of Oxford near Barton have been abandoned by environmental consultancy ADAS.

Its managers showed the project details to South Oxfordshire District Council planners for advice on behalf of the owner of the 74.5 acres of Wadley Hill Farm land, Robert Brooks.

ADAS team manager Colin Procter yesterday said the plans would not be submitted to the council as a formal application because of negative feedback.

Mr Procter said: “We feel the impact on the green belt would be too great a risk. We wanted to talk to the authority and see what their opinion is.

“We are always looking for other more suitable sites which meet the planning regulations to develop projects that will be positive and won’t have a significant environmental detrimental impact.”

Campaign to Protect Rural England in Oxfordshire spokesman Michael Tyce said: “That is really excellent news. I’m pleased the image of Oxford and openness of the green belt is to be protected from what would have been an extremely harmful project to both.”

But Headington resident Nicholas Newman, 50, said he was “extremely disappointed”

because the project would have been beneficial.

The energy journalist said: “That particular place was not particularly attractive in the first place.

“This is another failed scheme for green energy which we need.”

Mr Brooks declined to comment.