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Alfreton solar farm appeal dismissed

Peter Fox
By Peter Fox
14th December 2022

We are pleased to report that the Planning Inspectorate has dismissed an appeal against a decision to refuse permission for a huge solar farm in our area.

The decision brings an end to an attempt to build a 49.9MW solar farm spanning 185 acres of green fields between Alfreton, Oakerthorpe and Shirland.

The application – submitted by Kronos Solar – was refused by Amber Valley Borough Council in December 2021.  The company launched an appeal against the decision, sparking a public inquiry which was held at the Post Mill Centre, in South Normanton, in October and November.

CPRE, the countryside charity, is committed to supporting solar energy but will always oppose harmful developments.

You can read more about our position on solar energy here.

CPRE role

Having strongly objected to the original application, CPRE Derbyshire played a key role at the inquiry, as a member of the Rule 6 party, alongside the Save Alfreton Countryside Action Group, Alfreton Town Council, South Wingfield Parish Council and Alfreton Park School.

Chair of CPRE Derbyshire, John Ydlibi, gave evidence to the inquiry, including how the proposal would significantly devalue one of the few remaining open pieces of countryside accessible from Alfreton and thus very important to the local community.  He also explained how the inappropriate location of this proposal on agricultural fields, predominantly north facing, undulating and affecting seven public rights of way would have a significant adverse impact on the landscape character of the area and on people’s health and well-being.

The Planning Inspector’s decision notice issued on 5 December 2022, reveals that the appeal had been dismissed for reasons of harm to the landscape character, visual amenity and heritage assets.

Regarding the impact of such a development on the countryside, the Inspector Paul Jackson agreed that “the solar farm would be mounted largely on sloping land with a very significant zone of visual influence extending for several km across attractive and locally valued countryside in a transitional character area with long reaching views.”


In conclusion, the Inspector states: “The need for renewable or low carbon energy does not automatically override environmental protections. I have taken into account all the other matters raised including the proximity of a suitable grid connection, but in the overall balance, the harm caused to the landscape character and visual amenity is decisive.”

You can read the planning inspector’s report in full here.

Solar panels in a field
Mariana Proenca / Unsplash