Either the solar farm plans go or I do, says farmer’s wife

A Surrey farmer’s wife is threatening to leave her husband over his plans to erect 40,000 solar panels on their land.

Sue Young has begun a campaign against her husband, Robert, after he launched a planning application to create a 22ha (55-acre) solar farm on their property at Lingfield.

Mrs Young has written to residents to ask them to write to their local planning officer against the proposal at Barrow Green Farm.

She is so angered by her husband’s plans, which she claims will be will be a blight on the landscape, that she has threatened to leave him if it goes ahead.

Mrs Young said her husband signed the deal to install the panels behind her back while she was lambing.

She said the farm’s views and landscape would be ruined by the development.

“We live in a beautiful valley and we won’t be able to see it if there are solar panels surrounded by 8ft-high fences,” she told the Daily Mail.

“And it may all go out of fashion. It’s not been a happy situation.”

Read more news on Farm energy

Mr Young said he wanted to install the solar panels, which should provide energy for 3,500 homes over 30 years, to secure a strong financial future for his children and grandchildren.

The development could earn more than £50,000 a year in subsidies alone.

But Mrs Young said the effect on the countryside was not worth the potential income, and she would continue to campaign against the plans.

“I’m married to my husband, but I am my own person,” she said.

“All the stress has made me quite ill, but everyone I meet says it’s fabulous that I’m sticking to my beliefs. If the solar farm goes ahead, I’ve told him I’ll leave.”

Mr Young said the development made financial sense and he had the full support of the couple’s four grown-up children.

“It was never my intention to cause friction,” he said.

“It’s a business decision that the farm needs to make for future generations. It will also be wildlife friendly.

“I would not have undertaken this decision if I didn’t have the backing or interest of my children.

“But Sue is against it. She thinks she will be able to see it from her bedroom window and it will spoil her view.”

See more