Giovanni Maruca, director, Solstice Renewables Ltd, The Barn, Ford Farm, Aldbourne, Marlborough, writes:
I am writing regarding your article Concern over size of 43-acre solar farm and would like to address the concerns expressed by some councillors.
The solar farm is mid-build, it is mid-winter and like any large construction site at this time of year does not look its best. Once it is complete, however, the visual impact will be minimal as it will be screened effectively by the hedgerows, which will be allowed to grow to 3m high, with additional planting to fill in gaps taking place at the appropriate time of year.
The photographs used in the article don't show the view the public will see and are therefore misleading – your photographer must have used a stepladder or stood on a high vehicle to get the shots. The solar park is over four miles from the River Exe and from that distance will be indistinguishable within the landscape.
Solstice Renewables takes an open and inclusive approach to planning consultations. We made a point of keeping councillors well informed at every stage. Every member of the planning committee was sent a detailed briefing after the application was submitted, followed up by telephone to ask if they had any questions. If they had concerns, they had numerous opportunities to raise them with us or the ward councillor during the five-month determination period.
There were 26 letters of support for the application from members of the public, and five objectors.
Once construction is complete and the screening has grown in, I hope the councillors will recognise the enormous benefits this project brings to the area.