12:01pm Tuesday 24th September 2013 in News
BLAENPORTH residents are set to get a windfall of £39k if controversial plans for a 40-acre solar farm get the go-ahead in the next few weeks.
The 6.86mw solar photovoltaic farm at Llwyn Du, Blaenporth, is the first solar farm project ever to come before Ceredigion planners.
But the offer of a "community contribution" from Elgin Energy has unsettled local community councillors and infuriated a local resident whose property will be surrounded on two sides by the eight-feet high panels if the scheme goes ahead.
Widow Gill Chillery has lived at Morawel for the past six years and is horrified at the thought of the solar farm.
Her dining room and kitchen windows will be a matter of feet from the panels,and the view from her conservatory - at the moment looking out on green fields - will be ruined, she claims.
"It will be like living on an industrial estate," she said.
"It doesn't seem right that people will be making money out of this while the residents who have to look at it every day get nothing."
She added that the scheme would seriously devalue her property.
"Would we have bought it if we had known there was going to be a solar farm? No we wouldn't have."
Community councillors were also divided on the plan which was discussed at their meeting this week.
"What compensation will this company give to people whose properties have been devalued?" asked Cllr Colin Evans, who lives in Blaenporth.
"I wouldn't want it anywhere near me."
He added that there was plan for another 25-acre solar farm in the village already in the pipeline.
Chairman Cllr Anne MCcreary said she felt sorry for Mrs Chillery.
"This plan is too large and it's terrible that it's coming so close to this lady's boundary."
Local county councillor Gethin James said the scheme would go before planners - either next month or in November.
"It's important it's debated and people will have a chance to put their objections forward," he said.
The scheme also includes an oil filled transformer, substation and boundary fence.
The land is owned by local builder Huw Kurys and his wife Christine.
Mr Kurys said that a two acre 'buffer zone' was being planned around Mrs Chillery's property.
"The panels will be half a field away and there will also be landscaping," he said.
He added that the farm would feed green electricity into the national grid with enough energy to power 1700 homes a year.