Making a Clear, Positive Argument – For or Against

Do you need to make a clear, positive, powerful argument for or against something? If so I can help you do that. Here’s one I made earlier for a proposed development in the area where I live, the Gammaton Moor Solar Farm in north Devon.

Gammaton Moor Solar Farm, Devon, UK

I am delighted to give my wholehearted approval and support to the proposed solar farm at Webbery Barton and Cleave Farms, subject to one reservation which I’ve expressed at the end of this post.

Gammaton Moor Solar Farm supporting statements

Climate change won’t wait, and nor can we. We are in the middle of a climate emergency. The human race has left it far too long to engage with renewable energy, and we can’t afford to turn projects like this down or delay them unless there is at least one exceptionally good reason.

We already have a few solar farms in the immediate area, which is wonderful. Another one will put our parish on the map as regards forward-thinking sustainability, something we can all be very proud of.

This is not the ‘countryside’. It’s a hard-working agricultural landscape farmed by hard-working people. The land is often poor quality as regards livestock and arable, thanks to the underlying geology. As climate change continues to bite, farmers are finding it tougher than ever before to make a living from the land. This is an excellent way for them to raise funds from land that has always been a challenge to farm, and is becoming ever-more difficult thanks to climate change.

Because this is not countryside but farmland, I am not the least bit bothered by the appearance of the proposed farm. We can’t afford to stop a project like this because of aesthetics. The time for that kind of objection has, sadly, long passed. I’m more than happy to have it in my ‘back yard’.

As the Community Information Pack says, this is also a positive move for the small amount of local wildlife we have left in the area. It should provide a vital haven, a breathing space for wildlife and plants. More about that later.

A solar farm is neither dirty, noisy, dangerous, nor a pollution risk. Beyond the initial construction stage, it shouldn’t result in a permanent increase in traffic. Modern solar farms are also very low maintenance.

Farmers, like the rest of us, are already under severe pressure to reduce their CO2 emissions. This is a reliable way for two respected local farms to mitigate their emissions and help to achieve the wider climate goal we’re all working towards.

Gammaton Moor Solar Farm – One reservation

I have just one reservation. The conservation aspect of the project is, for me, the most important of all. The immediate area around the planned solar farm is well known for illegal fox hunting. If either of our local fox hunts were allowed any form of access to the site or the surrounding area, it would make a mockery of the planned conservation efforts.

I would like strong reassurance that the conservation aspects of the project will be well-managed on an ongoing basis, by Lightsource BP, and the land will be actively protected from hunt trespass, perhaps with CCTV and similar technologies. The word ‘active’ is important here, since it’s unlikely that a passive approach will have the desired result.

Many thanks, and please get in touch if you have any questions.

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