A 64-hectare solar farm near the Battle of Bosworth site has been rejected by local councillors after a long and public discussion on the matter.
Councillor Jonathan Collet posted the news on his Twitter account, writing, “Absolutely delighted that my motion to protect the Bosworth Battlefield site and reject an application for a large Solar Farm in Sutton Cheney was passed at Hinckley & Bosworth Council Planning Committee this evening by 15 votes to 0 opposed.”
Elgin Energy was one of the companies looking to place a solar farm. They said in a statement in February that, “There are significant benefits associated with this proposal, primarily through the generation of renewable energy to provide enough low carbon electricity to power 10,500 homes every year.
“That will provide a valuable contribution towards meeting the challenging obligations of the Government regarding renewable energy generation, and also in the form of ecological and landscape enhancements, which weigh heavily in favour of support for this development. Such benefits which will remain long after the 30-year lifetime of the planning permission.”
The proposal was struck down on the grounds that tourism to the area would be affected by a solar farm near the historical site. Both Historic England and The Battlefield Trust opposed the solar park.
In the council meeting, Councillor Collet said: “I feel personally that this construction of one of the largest solar panel sites in the country is inappropriate for our area. It’s located in an area that the council is trying to promote for the Inspiring Bosworth project and it should be one of the jewels in our crown.
“Work carried out by English Heritage stated that the registered battlefield and its landscape setting also contain a wider range of other cultural and natural heritage designations, demonstrating that the area is of considerable significance and not just important as the site of the battle.
“Public consultation clearly shows that the area is highly valued for its unspoilt landscape and its views, and in a region that can be busy and urbanised this area is a tranquil piece of English countryside that provides a sense of identity and belonging for locals. Views are often open and of long distance. This landscape has historic interest associated with its hilltops.”
The Battle of Bosworth occurred on 22 August 1485 and was the last major battle of the Wars of the Roses. The battle, between Richard III and the forces of Henry Tudor resulted in Richard’s death. Henry Tudor became King Henry VII.