Disaster for heritage as Langport loses battle

The final ruling by The Planning Inspectorate in Bristol, allowing a solar farm at the heart of the battle of Langport site is a devastating blow for heritage In Britain. In a ruling that seems to leave nothing in the countryside as sacrosanct, The Green Company have been given the go ahead to build an industrial solar panel site all over the line of attack of Fairfax’s parliamentary army during the 1645 Battle of Langport.

The plans presented in this appeal have been more than a little misleading. The Green Company produced a map of the battle lines at the very final phase of the battle, thereby conveniently ignoring the great trespass they intend to make on the actual battle itself. Something the inspector appears to acknowledge in his ruling. The battle had several phases prior to the final charge all of which took place outside the area defined in their map.

The problem here, as in many other sites across England, is that the registered battlefield has also been narrowly defined, and thus all the initial phases of the battle, the charge down to Wagg Rhyne, the musket skirmishes on the East bank of the Rhyne have all been ignored. This is something the Green Company have cynically taken advantage of in pushing through their plans. One has to ask why when there is plenty of other suitable land along Tengore Lane that would neither have impinged on the battlesite nor been unsuitable for a solar site, why the Green Company persisted in a determination to damage something of great historical value, a veritable heritage asset for the local community. Green they be by name, I suggest they are certainly not by nature.

The battlefield will now be permanently scarred for the next quarter of a century at least. Anyone seeking to get a clear understanding of the battle, will be unable to do so. It is tempting to ask if nothing is sacred, but there’s no point as this result clearly demonstrates the answer to be “no”.

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