Councillors are to visit the sites of two proposed solar farms in Oxfordshire before making decisions on them.

The June 6 meeting of Cherwell District Council’s planning committee was due to consider two applications; Oxford New Energy’s plans for a 43.78-hectare solar farm on land north of Manor Farm, Noke, near Kidlington, and then JBM Solar Projects 8’s plans for a 59.4-hectare solar farm (67.9 hectares when land for cabling is included) on seven agricultural fields adjacent to Mill Lane, Stratton Audley, near Bicester (pictured above).

Both had been recommended for approval but members agreed with a proposal by Cllr Amanda Watkins who suggested deferrals for both so that site visits could take place. Both schemes face fierce opposition from locals.

Meeting chair Cllr Barry Wood said: “The obvious thing to do is do them at the same time, so that members don’t have to take more time off work. And I think officers should consider hiring a little bus to take the members there en bloc, rather than a string of 18 cars patrolling through the countryside.”

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