Edward Timpson and janet Clowes at site of proposed solar park, Hatherton

Crewe & Nantwich MP Edward Timpson believes a decision to reject plans for a 28,000-panel solar park near Nantwich was the right one.

Markus Wierenga, of Green Switch Developments Ltd, had applied to build the solar park on land at Hatherton Lodge Farm, on Hunsterson Road, Hatherton.

If passed, it would have covered 16 hectares of land and featured more than 28,000 solar panels creating an output of more than 8MW.

But councillors on Cheshire East’s Strategic Planning Board refused the application when it met yesterday (February 18).

Mr Timpson said today he was ‘delighted’ at the news that it had been rejected.

He had met with local campaigners to listen to their concerns, visited the proposed site, and lobbied Cheshire East Council in support of their objections to what he called an “unwanted and inappropriate planning application”.

“I was approached by a number of local residents who were extremely concerned about the proposed solar farm at Hatherton Lodge Farm in Hunsterson,” he said.

“It is a sparsely-populated area and they were worried that there would be few objections.

“However, I was strongly of the belief that this should not diminish the importance of their views, and so wrote to Cheshire East Council in support of them.

“Renewable energy generation is important, but we need to be careful that we do not over-incentivise large-scale ground-mounted projects in inappropriate places – particularly greenfield agricultural land – that could generate strong opposition in local communities.

“It needs careful design and to be properly thought through.

“It should not be a case of renewable energy at any cost. Impacts on the local community, on landscape and on consumer bills have to be a real consideration.

“I am therefore delighted that Cheshire East Council have listened and rejected this application.”

Hatherton and Walgherton Parish Council called for it to be refused because of impact on the landscape, flood risk, glint and glare, traffic disruption and impact on wildlife.

More than 30 letters from neighbours of the site were received by planners raising similar fears.


  1. Jack Riggall says:

    Timpson seems happy to block the installation of solar panels where a few people are upset, but I have yet to see him amongst the thousands marching against the hydraulic fracturing forced on the UK by his uncaring government.

  2. Two major issues facing our planet in terms of land use is energy security and food security. You can put solar panels on the many thousands of hectares of south facing roof space that exist in Cheshire East – and as the technology gets cheaper that is becoming a realistic option for the near future BUT agricultural land should be properly managed for food production – the art of hydroponic agriculture is still too far off!

  3. The Government appears to be anti-solar farms and anti-onshore wind turbines but fracking? Yes – let’s go for it! Never mind its far more significant landscape and environmental impacts and its highly dubious economic future. Just look at what’s happened in Texas since the oil price slump.
    Meanwhile ‘inappropriate greenfield agricultural land’ is being lost to permanent (not just 25 years) housing and industrial development all over Cheshire East.

  4. *Slow hand clap*

    Well done everybody. Screw the planet.

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