'No solar on our little bit of paradise'

After recovering from a life-changing accident and rebuilding her life, a Hatton resident is appealing for councillors to reject plans to build a solar farm on their ‘little piece of heaven’.

Angela Watson with some of her artwork.
Angela Watson with some of her artwork.

Angela Watson suffered life-changing injuries when she was thrown out of her bath and went through a ceramic sink and brick walk when a car crashed into her downstairs bathroom.

Following several weeks in hospital, Angela returned home in a wheelchair, unable to work or run as was her passion, but developed a new found love of art.

She explained: “When I came out of hospital, I was confined to a wheelchair and could hardly do anything.

“My daughter Maisie suggested I try art as a change from doing nothing but jigsaw puzzles.”

Angela’s new passion led to a friend encouraging her to apply to be as a contestant on the BBC One programme '˜The Big Painting Challenge', where she reached the finals and was eliminated in the fifth round of the show.

Since then, Angela has embraced not just one new career as she regained her strength, as a phlebotomist, but two as she is also currently retraining as a foot healthcare practitioner, taking classes alongside her day job.

On top of this, she moved into The Old Barn in Hatton in 2019 with her partner Steve Hayward, transforming it into ‘The Old Barn Holiday Cottage’ as a bed & breakfast business.

Which is why, when she and other villagers heard about plans to build a solar farm in the village – right outside their property and which will be roughly the size of 120 football pitches - she was understandably devastated.

As reported in last week’s Horncastle News, renewable energy developer Push and consultants Sustainable Planning Design (SPD) Studio hope the development will produce around 49.99MW for around 40 years – enough to power around 21,000 UK homes and displacing around 12,500 tonnes of CO2 (around 2,700 cars) from the atmosphere.

But Angela and other Hatton residents have raised concerns that the proposed development will not only destroy Grade 2 land, cultivated with wheat, and Angela is also concerned the development will destroy their “little bit of paradise".

“This enormous ‘blot’ will be directly behind our home and will be seen from our holiday cottage and will be our ‘new view’, this area of 184 acres will not only be seen and affect Hatton and it’s residents but other local holiday accommodation,” Angela said, “I have sunk all of my savings into this home and successful holiday let business, to secure a future for myself and my family.

"It is so much more than just a house, it has been my therapy and income, I have been selling ‘a little bit of paradise’, looking out onto corn fields and woodland, after walking in stunning unspoilt countryside. Would you want to come away on a holiday to look out upon a sea of Solar? No.

“I would not have moved to Hatton, had I known this was going to happen.

“It is a place we love and cherish and want others to be able to come and enjoy.”