Following the announcement of proposals by BP Lightsource solar development on Ynys Môn, the local CPRW branch have expressed   concerns but have identified potential opportunities that will benefit the island.

Martin Schwaller, Chair of Ynys Môn branch, CPRW:

“While it’s great that we can host more renewable generation, and contribute to addressing climate change, this development is enormous and will cover thousands of acres of  high quality farm land with black glass solar panels.  The impact on the landscape and visual amenity of both residents and visitors could be quite dramatic.”

“The development claims that the solar farm could produce more than the current electricity demand on the island and enough to exceed the 2050 net zero energy demand.  Therefore, it could be argued that no further generation is necessary here.”

The Maen Hir project will be one of the biggest active solar farms across the UK, covering more than 3,000 acres.

Martin Schwaller , Chair of Ynys Môn branch, CPRW continued:

“The Welsh Government does not permit development on the “best and most versatile” farmland, however, because of the scale of the project it will be the UK Secretary of State that makes the final decision and worryingly UK policy does not have the same protections as Welsh policy.

“We welcome the use of the Rhosgoch brownfield site as a location for battery storage and a modest community solar farm, and the the land is not under a compulsory purchase order.

“ We encourage  the developer to actively engage with the local community to arrive at the best way of mitigating the worst aspects of the proposal on landscape, wildlife and biodiversity; for example  hazel woodland screening is a valuable habitat for our much loved red squirrel population and could be created with suitably spaced rows of panels that would enable sheep grazing to continue or create biodiverse meadow.”