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Fears solar farm site near Taunton will spook alpacas

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: November 27, 2012

Christina Rundle says she is worried about the effect on her alpacas should a solar farm be constructed near their paddock at Knapp, on the edge of North Curry, near Taunton, in Somerset. The farmer behind the plans insists he is only trying to diversify

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Alpaca farmer Christina Rundle is so fearful that a proposed solar farm will spook her flock she may offer their field to a council for an official travellers’ site.

Mrs Rundle keeps 40 animals on the edge of North Curry, near Taunton. The village had an unofficial gypsy camp for five years, the last families being ordered off by the High Court last year.

Mrs Rundle is dismayed by a planning application for a solar farm at land to the rear of Higher Knapp Farm. The scheme would see the installation of around 6,270 panels, generating up to 1.8MW and covering an area of 4.7 hectares.

The sloping site is not directly opposite Mrs Rundle’s field but she fears her stock will be spooked by the glare from the panels.

She said yesterday: “I am a great believer in solar power, and believe that people should embrace it, but not to the detriment of others. Alpacas are very nervous, they are like deer. They are bound to be disturbed, spooked by this development and by the disturbance caused while the farm is being created.”

North Curry Parish Council will discuss the plans tomorrow night. Taunton Deane Borough Council will have the final say.

Farmer Alan Dare, on whose land the solar farm would be located said: “There won’t be any glare from the panels. We are simply trying to diversify.”

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