John Nettles could lose the fight over UK’s largest solar farm: Council is set for 76,000 solar panels to be approved despite opposition from Bergerac star

  • John Nettles, Bergerac actor is one of many objectors to the huge solar farm plans for Devon
  • Scheme would see 76,000 solar panels on four pieces of land including 28 fields 
  • Critics of the development claim that there are already a lot of solar farms in the area.
  • Mr Nettles, 77 years old, has a country house nearby and has called the concept ‘hideous. 

John Nettles, actor in Midsomer Murders, could lose the battle for scrapping plans for Britain’s largest solar farms. Plans are set to be green-lit tonight. 

Planners advised Torridge Council to approve the mile-long scheme on fields at Derril Water near Pyworthy, Devon. This was despite strong objections.

One of those opposed to the plans is Mr Nettles, a 71-year old actor who was the star of the TV detective series Midsomer Murders. He moved to the area about a decade ago and has a smallholding close by the site.

The Bergerac star has shown a short video protesting the scheme. He claims that there are already six solar farm in the area, including the largest on 109 acres at Pitworthy. 

Actor John Nettles is trying to kill plans for a huge solar farm near his home in Pyworthy, Devon

Local campaigner Mike Godfrey is leading a group of residents as they protest against plans to build a new solar farm in near the village of Pyworthy, Devon

John Nettles, actor has joined a campaign to stop plans for a UK’s largest-scale solar farm on a large area of land in Pyworthy (Devon), near the actor’s residence.

Mr Nettles stated that ‘local residents feel sufficient is enough’, and that the scheme would desecrate this pastoral vista in this area of Devon’ and transform it into an ‘industrialized landscape.

The actor, who kept donkeys and horses on a piece of land near Holsworthy, described the plans as ‘hideous’ and added: ‘People must understand the immense scale and visual impact these solar farms have.

The application will be presented to planning committee members at a meeting tonight, November 4.

More than 200 objections were raised to the plans for 164 acres farmland by the two parish councils as well as the Devon Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) from the countryside charity. 

The applicant, RES Energy Ltd, wants permission for 40 years for the 66.33 hectare site, equal to just under 164 acres. Pictured: Concept images show the wide-spanning solar farm plans

RES Energy Ltd is applying for permission for 40 year for the 66.33 hectare site. This is just under 164 acres. Pictured: Concept images showing the expansive solar farm plans

The proposal for the structure with nearly 76,000 panels would span 66 hectares, becoming the largest solar farm in the county. Pictured above: An existing solar farm in Pyworthy, Devon

The structure, which would have nearly 76,000 solar panels, would cover 66 hectares and be the largest solar farm in the county. Above: A photo of a solar farm in Pyworthy (Devon).

The scheme from RES energy Ltd is for nearly 76,000 panels on four pieces land, including 28 fields, covering approximately a mile from one end to the other.

The panels would be surrounded more than five miles by security fencing, 85 CCTV cameras on poles, 15 substations within industrial containers, and 85 CCTV cameras.

Torridge District Council received the application March 31st. A statement by the company explains that the proposed measures will enhance the landscape and increase the biodiversity.

It also states that the development would be capable of producing enough electricity to supply 12,100 homes.

According to the company the site is mostly located on lower-grade agricultural land. These would be removed from crop use but could still used for light grazing and would be returned at the end. 

Developers say the scheme would generate enough electricity to supply around 12,100 homes, displacing 18,608 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and 'contributing to the UK's 2050 target'

Developers claim the scheme will generate enough electricity to power around 12,100 homes, displace 18,608 tonnes of CO2 per year, and ‘contribute to the UK’s 2050 target’

According to the solar energy industry, the UK must triple its capacity by 2030 in order to reach its carbon reduction targets.

Devon CPRE is urging members of the committee to refuse permission for planning due to the loss and industrialization of farmland over the past 40 years.

The Upper Tamar Area is only a mile away. According to them, more than seven acres of agricultural land have been developed for solar farms. Plans for several other large solar installations are still in the planning stages.