Efforts to raise awareness of a solar farm planned for Radlett’s countryside have been ramped up in recent weeks, with residents protesting the planning proposals that were submitted by Enso Energy in January.
Radlett residents and the campaign leaders have created banners saying ‘Save Our Green Belt. Stop The Solar Plant’ to stop the proposals for a 300-acre power plant, which protestors have said would see the open greenbelt countryside be ‘lost forever’.
The Hillfield Solar Farm scheme would see the installation of a renewable led energy generating station north of Butterfly Lane and the land surrounding Hillfield Farm between Radlett, Elstree Aerodrome and Aldenham.
On Hertsmere Borough Council’s planning website, the application has received 451 comments at the time of writing, with 386 objections and 60 supporting.
Sharon Woolf, a Radlett resident and the campaign leader who has set up a Facebook page which has almost 1,000 members, said: “We need to fight together for our precious rural countryside and priceless open spaces which has proved vital in these COVID-19 times to our mental and physical wellbeing.
“While we believe in the importance of green initiatives – this is simply the wrong location. Radlett enjoys a rural environment and character, and we need to fight together to maintain the UK’s heritage for future generations to enjoy.
“Act now to oppose the unsightly erection causing noise, radiation, irrigation, traffic, threaten historical issues and destroy our beautiful views. It’s your Radlett, not theirs.”
Enso Energy have claimed on their website that there is an ‘urgent need’ for renewable energy to address the climate change emergency, and that this scheme will help in meeting this target as well as delivering significant biodiversity benefits.
On their website, they say: “If approved, the submitted scheme would supply the equivalent annual electricity needs of approximately 15,600 homes in Hertsmere.
“The anticipated CO2 savings is around 25,400 tonnes per annum, which represents an emissions saving equivalent of a reduction in approximately 8,100 cars on the road every year.
“Our previous engagement with the community in October 2020 enabled the development team to take on-board local feedback and look at ways of improving and enhancing the positive aspects of our scheme.
“In response to a number of the issues raised during the public consultation process and resident site visits, the design of the submitted scheme has been amended to reflect this feedback.”
For more information on Enso Energy’s project, head to ensoenergy.co.uk/proposed-projects/hillfield
The expiry date of the application is in mid-March, with a determination deadline set at the moment as April 30.