West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper welcomed the news that a 90 acre solar farm in Hoscar will not go ahead after being refused by the Planning Committee on Thursday 13 November.
In recent months MP Rosie has been working with residents’ campaign group, Stop Hoscar Solar Farm (SHSF), to ensure residents’ opposition to the proposals were listened to.
Rosie worked with the residents to raise awareness of the planning application amongst the local community and ensure their voices were heard in the fight to protect greenbelt land.
SHSF met with the MP to discuss their concerns early on following submission of the application, and followed this up with a visit to the site so Rosie could see for herself the land which would have been used and its size.
Rosie has continued to support the campaign through the media and on social media, where the group used their online skills to spread the word, as well as erecting posters in gardens and delivering thousands of leaflets.
At a packed out Council Chamber on Thursday evening with 60 SHSF campaigners present, all 24 Planning Committee Members agreed to accept the recommendation of the Planning Officers to refuse this planning application.
MP Rosie said:
“I am delighted with the outcome of this planning application. I must congratulate the Stop Hoscar Solar Farm residents’ campaign group for all their hard work they’ve put into this.
“As a country we need to do more to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, which includes using renewable energy sources. However, the need for renewable energy should not override the substantial environmental and community interests and concerns.
“I have been clear right from the start when this application was first submitted why I was against it and why I was standing with the SHSF group -; to save this agricultural land, this greenbelt land, and this picturesque countryside.
“We cannot accept a situation in which West Lancashire becomes a dumping ground for these renewable energy projects from which others benefit to the significant detriment of the borough.
“This is a win for Stop Hoscar Solar Farm, residents near the site and West Lancashire as whole.”
An SHSF spokesperson said:
“We are delighted with this decision. All of our members recognise the need for renewable energies but this application was wrong on many counts.
“This is a great achievement for all the members of the campaign group who really have put a lot of personal time, effort and money into driving this campaign, I can’t thank them all enough.
“Having worked with the MP Rosie Cooper, we are very grateful for her support and backing of our campaign and ensuring we were not ignored.
“We feel as a group we have built up many skills and knowledge in the area of planning, and particularly in regard to solar farm applications and so we will now be offering our assistance to other residents’ groups who oppose similar applications.”