solar farm plans dropped!

SOLAR FARM PLANS DROPPED!

Dear Supporter,
We’re delighted to let you know that plans for the Solar Farm have been dropped! The scheme’s developer, MS Power Projects Ltd, have confirmed to Heskin Old Hall Farm that they will NOT be submitting a formal planning application to Chorley Council for the construction of a Solar Farm on their land.
This good news will come as a great relief to many in Mawdesley and Heskin, and follows on from last month’s announcement from our friends in Hoscar that their solar farm developer’s appeal has been dismissed by the Secretary of State. For more details about their appeal dismissal please visit http://stophoscarsolarfarm.com
Our thanks go to every one of you for your excellent support over the last 18 months. There is no doubt that the developers underestimated the strength of opposition to their proposals and this, coupled with the recent government cutbacks on subsidies, are the most likely reasons for the plans being dropped. Please will you remove any protest signs that you have on display.
During the course of our campaign, which included liaison with other like-minded protest groups in the area, we have gained a great deal of experience which will put us in good stead should any similar proposals be submitted in the future which will adversely affect the quality of life of villagers in our community.

Best wishes to all from the Campaign Team,

Nikki      John      Paul

smiley face

 

 

HOSCAR SOLAR FARM APPEAL DISMISSED!

Dear Supporters,

As you know we have been supporting our neighbouring village of Hoscar in their fight against an Appeal by their  developers.  Below is the Stop Hoscar Solar Farm (SHSF) campaign group’s  email announcing the good news.  We are encouraged by this news as there are many similarities between our two proposals.  However, our own campaign continues, as we believe that the Mawdesley & Heskin Solar Farm proposals have not actually been dropped. 

SHSF EMail:-

“WE WON!!!!!!!!!!    HURRAY!!!!!!

THE APPEAL TO ALLOW A SOLAR FARM AT TAWDSIDE FARM IN HOSCAR HAS BEEN DISMISSED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE.

FABULOUS NEWS FOR ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO VALUE THE GREEN BELT AND THE LANDSCAPE AND WHO SEE THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR LOCAL ECOLOGY AND AGRICULTURE.
A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PLAYED A PART IN THIS RESULT…..AND WE MEAN YOU!!! 
If you would like to read the report please visit the stophoscarsolarfarm.com  website and follow the link.
There is still a period of time in which Green Switch can appeal this decision. Although unlikely, we are keeping the champagne on hold until that time has passed. We will contact you again to let you know when this will be and just how we might choose to celebrate as a community. And what a fantastic community we are to take on and beat the professionals. If you have any suggestions about celebrating, do let us know. 
WELL DONE TO US ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

December Newsletter

   Mawdesley & Heskin Solar Farm Protest Group

                         DECEMBER NEWSLETTER

Dear Supporter,
It’s been 5 months since our last Newsletter during which time there has been very little news to report on the proposed plans for the solar farm. 
In the meantime we have been preparing more detail regarding the many reasons we have to object to the application once it is submitted.  This includes the concerns  people have about their health, their security and their quality of life.  Also we now have officially recorded evidence of the presence of protected wildlife species which depend on the site for their survival.

The developers, MSP, said at their Public Consultation Meeting on the 20th July that a full planning application would follow shortly afterwards.  This has still not happened.  They also promised to provide Mawdesley Parish Council with copies of the Feedback Forms used at the meeting, but in view of the huge amount of local opposition demonstrated at that meeting, it’s not surprising that this hasn’t happened either.  Recent letters and phone calls to MSP from the Parish Council, in an attempt to get a status report, have been completely ignored.  MSP’s claim to want to engage and communicate with local communities seems no longer to be valid.

Since the July meeting there has been a series of Government announcements regarding proposed cut backs in subsidies for solar farms of 5 MW and below, including a reduction in Feed-in Tariffs.  Only last week HM Revenue & Customs announced a possible increase in the VAT on solar panels from 5% to 20% next year.  All of this means that many companies in the Solar industry are under financial pressure.  We know that one of MSP’s successful applications in Essex is actually going ahead now, but with another developer.

Further Government announcements are expected in the near future, so it remains to be seen what effect they will have on the Heskin Hall Solar Farm proposals in 2016 and beyond.  However, it is unlikely that the proposed plans have been dropped and they may be submitted at any time in the future.  So please continue to display your Protest Signs prominently.  The fact that signs have remained in position is a testament to the huge level of opposition still prevailing.  Anyone wanting a replacement sign, or a new sign if you haven’t had one before, please get in touch.

In the meantime we would like to take this opportunity to say a HUGE THANK YOU for all for your support during the last year – it has been really tremendous and exceeded all our expectations.  Please be assured that we are as determined as ever to carry on the fight over the coming months and will alert you to any new developments as soon as we hear anything.

Finally, we’d like to wish you all a very Merry Xmas and best wishes for 2016!

JULY NEWS UPDATE

Mawdesley & Heskin Solar Farm Protest Group

                           JULY NEWS UPDATE

 

                 
                                            Click above images to enlarge

The top two images show the proposed Solar Farm field being cut for good quality silage, twice this season so far, on the 6th June & 23rd July. This Green Field site is claimed by developers MS Power Projects to be of the poorer Grade 3b Agricultural Land Classification, yet we know that high quality crops of wheat and barley have been grown on this site over many years. In fact the larger image, dated 16/7/15, shows an immediately adjacent field in the foreground growing a very healthy crop of wheat. The solar field is in the middle distance, with Mawdesley’s Wind Turbine Farm in the background. The Grade 3b assessment was carried out by a company paid for by the developers.

PUBLIC CONSULTATION / DROP-IN EVENT- 20th JULY 2015
St Peter’s Primary School, Hurst Green, Mawdesley

A Big ‘THANK YOU’ to Mawdesley Residents

Many thanks for the fantastic turn out at this event, organised by MS Power Projects (MSP). Members of the Protest Group were present during the whole event (2.00pm to 7.00pm). As expected, there were no clear answers to specific questions. In particular, there was no information on the number and position of the necessary ‘inverters’. These ‘inverters’ are a health and safety concern because of both the noise and the electromagnetic radiation which they emit.

We were able to speak to at least 95% of the visitors, estimated at around 150 people. Completed MSP Feedback Forms were shown to us by the residents, many of whom took photos of their forms. We can confirm that NOT ONE resident we spoke to supported the proposed plans. MSP have publicly agreed to provide copies of the Feedback Forms to the Parish Council, although in view of what must have been quite a humiliating afternoon for the developers, it remains to be seen what interpretation they put on this public event. A copy of a blank Feedback Form, showing some quite biased and misleading questions, can be seen HERE.

OTHER NEWS

1) Last Wednesday, the Government announced plans to remove subsidies for solar farms of 5MW capacity and below with effect from April 2016. The Mawdesley solar farm is currently 4.99MW. It remains to be seen what effect this will have on this site and the market as a whole.

2) There are now many more sites in our area than ever under active consideration for solar farm planning applications. We hope to join up with other protest groups to establish a combined opposition. Unless we mount a determined and effective programme of opposition, our area will dramatically change for the worse and all the many reasons we have for living where we do will be ruined.

3) We expect MSP to submit a full planning application very shortly to Chorley Council. We will let you know when this happens and how you can formally object. In the meantime, anyone willing to add information, comments or expertise to our cause, will they please contact us as soon as possible. If we fail in our campaign, we and our families will have to live with all the serious consequences for many years to come.

Public Consultation Event – Final Reminder

Mawdesley & Heskin Solar Farm Protest Group Newsletter
PUBLIC CONSULTATION EVENT
Monday 20th July, 2.00pm to 7.00pm, St Peter’s Primary School, Hurst Green, Mawdesley

 
FINAL REMINDER

Just a quick reminder to ask you to attend the Consultation / Drop-in Event on Monday to view plans for a 38 acre Solar Farm on Green Belt land in your village, and to ask questions and raise the concerns that we know many of you have about the plans.

If you agree with us and object to these proposals, please do not hesitate to describe your objections in full on the developer’s Feedback Form, copies of which will be made available to  Mawdesley Parish Council.  Any non-committal responses or no responses at all, are likely to be regarded as acceptance of the proposals.  Some examples of individual reasons to object include:

  • Loss of High Grade Agricultural Green Belt Land.
  • Detrimental Visual Impact on Landscape from an industrial scale development.
  • Potential harm to local wildlife.
  • Excessive use by unsuitable large vehicles on narrow rural roads.
  • Open views of lovely countryside with a well-used public footpath will be spoilt by ugly solar panels, metal mesh fencing, security cameras and lights, plus buildings.
  • Possible risk to health of people close to the site from Electro Magnetic Fields associated with the Inverters.

Please give your maximum support by attending the meeting and bringing along as many friends and family as you can.

Please click HERE to read the letter from Entrust to Mawdesley Parish Council concerning this Public Meeting.  The letter, which includes a Site Plan, also summarises some environmental topics which the planning application will cover.

Public Consultation Event – 20th July 2015

Mawdesley & Heskin Solar Farm Protest Group Newsletter

PUBLIC CONSULTATION EVENT

20th July 2015, 2.00pm to 7.00pm, St Peter’s Primary School, Hurst Green, Mawdesley

 The Heskin Old Hall Farm solar project now moves to the next phase by arranging for the necessary Public Consultation / Drop-in Event above, prior to the submission of a planning application.  MS Power (the developer) has engaged a consultancy organisation called Entrust to represent them on this occasion.
 
We know many of you share our concerns in regard to the serious damage this development will do to every aspect of our community.  If our objections to this project are to be taken seriously and have any impact, then now is the time to make our feelings known with a show of solidarity.
 
If you are opposed to this abuse of vital Green Belt land then please attend this important meeting with as many people you can ask to accompany you, in order to question Entrust representatives in attendance to respond to your individual enquiries.
 
Entrust will no doubt ask you to complete a Feedback Form during your visit.  If you agree with us and object to these proposals, please do not hesitate to describe your objections in full on the Form.   Any non-committal responses or no responses at all, are likely to be regarded as acceptance of the proposals.  Some examples of individual reasons to object include:

  • Loss of High Grade Agricultural Green Belt Land.
  • Detrimental Visual Impact on Landscape from an industrial scale development.
  • Potential harm to local wildlife.
  • Excessive use by unsuitable large vehicles on narrow rural roads.
  • Open views of lovely countryside with a well-used public footpath will be spoilt by ugly solar panels, metal mesh fencing, security cameras and lights, plus buildings.
  • Possible risk to health of people close to the site from Electro Magnetic Fields associated with the Inverters.

 
Have no doubt that the only reason the site has been reduced in size from the original 11 MW (Megawatt) capacity to 5 MW, is to maintain a Government subsidy which was removed in April for all solar farms over 5 MW.  The site will still cover a huge 38 acres of productive agricultural land.
 
The motivation behind our campaign comes from the belief that no one individual has the right to affect the quality of life of others without their consent. 
 
Please give your maximum support by attending the meeting and if you feel able to offer any assistance to our campaign please get in touch.
 
Please click HERE to read the letter from Entrust to Mawdesley Parish Council concerning this Public Meeting.  The letter, which includes a Site Plan, also summarises some environmental topics which the planning application will cover.

May Newsletter

MAY NEWSLETTER

The proposed site is high grade agricultural Green Belt land which, for well over 20 years in the past, has grown crops including barley and grass.  As these photos taken yesterday show, it continues to produce good quality crops, this year for silage (probably two cuts this season).  The good quality silage produced these days is an essential part of modern beef and dairy farming, providing a nutritious winter feed, essential for efficient conversion into meat or milk.
                              
                                 THE THREAT HAS NOT GONE AWAY!
MS Power Project Director Chris Brake, who represented MSP at earlier meetings with us, left the company shortly after saying in mid February that a village Public Consultation meeting would be delayed until mid March or possibly later, whilst they carried out some “further assessments”.  Mawdesley Parish Council have now been able to speak to MSP’s newly promoted MD Jeffrey Dummett, who said that a new Planning Consultant had been appointed, and that a Public Meeting will still go ahead, although no date has yet been set.
MSP’s website remains very much out of date (Chris Brake is still pictured in their team).  They are still claiming a 100% record of gaining planning consent for solar farm projects.  We know of at least one failure on public record (Taunton).  This website error was acknowledged by Chris Brake at a Protest Group  meeting last January, but has not been corrected.
Whilst we await the date for the Public Meeting, we must all continue to stay alert and be ready to react to, and pass on, any news or activity at any time.  Please continue to keep your protest signs on display.  We would encourage even more of you now to display protest signs to demonstrate that our opposition to the proposal remains as solid as ever – please get in touch if you need a sign.  We are as determined as ever to mount a robust campaign of objection should a formal application be submitted.

OTHER NEWS

Britain now has more solar farms than Spain, Italy and France combined (408 in total and still growing).  There is now a high concentration of Solar Farm development activity in our area of the country.  Some examples close to us include Aughton and Hoscar Moss (where appeals are under way), Weeton, Burscough, Grimsargh and Shevington (where approval is either pending or at the early planning stage).

Liz Truss, the newly reinstated Environment Minister (DEFRA), has reiterated her view that productive agricultural land should be used for food production and not solar farms.  She supports the deployment of solar “in the right place”, namely commercial and domestic roof space, as opposed to agricultural land.  Click HERE  to see the short video of her speaking to a news reporter.
The new South Ribble MP, Seema Kennedy, told Mawdesley residents during a hustings meeting prior to the election that she would continue to support our campaign against the “monstrous” solar farm proposal.
We are pleased that Martin Boardman, newly elected Ward Councillor for Mawdesley & Eccleston, is also a keen supporter of our campaign.
HOSCAR SOLAR FARM APPEAL (Deadline June 17th!)
Please support our neighbours in their fight against an appeal by developers to reverse the decision taken by West Lancs Council to refuse their application.  For details of what you can do to help, please visit their website
http://stophoscarsolarfarm.com

Parish Council Meeting, plus BBC Radio Lancs Interview

Mawdesley Solar Farm Protest Group
www.34fp.org.uk
saynotosolarfarm@yahoo.co.uk

1) Mawdesley Parish Council Meeting Reminder

Just a quick reminder about the Solar Farm  meeting this Wednesday 11th Feb at 7.30pm in the main Village Hall.

There is one item on the agenda before the Solar Farm presentation, but we are being asked to be there promptly for a 7.30pm start.

We hope to see you there with as many friends, neighbours and family as you can bring along, to ask questions and voice your objections, so please spread the word.  Please don’t leave it to others – we need everyone’s full support for our campaign to be successful.

2) BBC Radio Lancashire Interview

Two of our campaigners, John Brindle and Paul Hunter, took part in an interview on the Graham Liver Breakfast Show yesterday morning.  Two audio clips of the interview are now available to listen to on our website.  You can hear both these clips by clicking HERE.

3) Still Not Got a Campaign Protest Sign?

Protest Signs are still available.  If you are willing to display one of these signs on your property, or know someone who would like one, please send an e-mail to saynotosolarfarm@yahoo.co.uk and include your address and phone number.