A planned solar farm in the Herefordshire countryside that could have provided power for over 9,000 homes has been refused planning permission.

The proposal by Green Switch Capital was to station solar panels on an oblong 39-hectare stretch of elevated land at Oatcroft Farm, Titley near Kington.

The 30-megawatt installation would have required transformer stations, a control building, substation compound, perimeter palisade fencing and access roads, along with landscaping and biodiversity enhancements.


The firm’s bid said any visual harm caused by the scheme would be outweighed by its environmental, economic and social benefits.

But it drew nearly 80 objections from members of the public, and around 40 also put their concerns at public meeting called by Titley and district group parish council in mid-January.

The parish council then put their concerns to site owners Roger and Phillip Sankey and to Green Switch.


Its submission on the planning application said the scheme “would look to provide security for future generations to live and work on what could be considered a difficult farm to earn a reasonable living (from)” – which it “would like to help”.

But the panels’ “elevated position cannot be sufficiently well screened”, they would impinge on the nearby grade II listed Eywood Park, and could discourage visitors to the area, with “a knock-on effect on our tourist industry”, the parish said.

Herefordshire Council planners were persuaded that the scheme “would have a significant adverse impact” on a landscape enjoyed by locals and visitors, which the renewable energy benefits would “not outweigh”.

They also found “insufficient information” on how rainwater runoff and construction traffic at the site would be dealt with.