Large-scale solar farm proposed for East Devon farm could power 15,000 homes

A solar farm the size of 79 football pitches has been proposed for an area of East Devon between the village of Clyst Hydon and hamlet, Lower Tale.

The plans, put forward by Lightrock Power who develops large-scale solar farms, cover an area of around 64 hectares – approximately158 acres – which could power the equivalent of 15,000 homes or 19,000 electric vehicles.

The developer said it will hold an online public exhibition in late spring in a bid to consult the community on the application.

The solar farm developer has launched an online information point for early feedback, which can also be given by phone, letter and email.

Lightrock Power said the Paytherden Solar Farm project was in the ‘early phases’ of development and was currently ‘being planned and assessed’ by its team.

Chris Sowerbutts, Lightrock Power founder and director, said: “We are keen to talk about our proposals for Paytherden solar farm.

“We would really like the local community to be involved in the process leading up to any planning application being submitted, and would appreciate early feedback and views.”

The farm where Paytherden is proposed to go is managed by Jon and Louise Burrough, who believe using the land to produce green energy will benefit the community and environment.

The couple said: “Climate change is the biggest threat our species has ever faced and everyone must make an effort.

“As custodians of a small part of the countryside, we’re in a unique position to play our part.

“Electricity use over the next thirty years is set to double, with half of all cars on the roads likely to be electric in the next five years.

“Therefore, the need to produce green energy to meet with this demand is crucial.”

Mr and Mrs Burrough added: “We are committed to caring for the environment and this is reflected in the way we farm.

“Over the past forty years we’ve planted ten-thousand trees here, including native species, orchards and a butterfly wood.

“We’ve also farmed organically for over twenty years, enabling more birds and bees to thrive.

“Not only does using our farm to produce green energy fit in with our ethos, it has enormous benefits for the wider community and the environment as a whole.”

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