Site for energy park is sold off

Another site which alongside America Farm was earmarked for an energy park. Photo, September 2012: Paul Franks
Another site which alongside America Farm was earmarked for an energy park. Photo, September 2012: Paul Franks

Farmland which was earmarked for a controversial and costly energy park scheme has been sold by Peterborough City Council for £1 million.

The authority has let go of America Farm, off of Oxney Road, which in 2012 was chosen as one of three sites to be filled by wind turbines and solar panels.

However, the landmark scheme to create energy self-sufficiency in the city was ditched a few years later, after more than £3 million of taxpayers’ money had been spent, when the Government announced that support for large scale solar projects would be scrapped.

A Peterborough City Council spokeswoman said: “America Farm was sold on March 31 for a total of £1,062,500.

“The sale of the site was part of the council’s approved farm strategy and proceeds will be reinvested into council services. Both the property and land were vacant at the time of sale with the previous short-term tenancy ending in October 2016.

“The council continues to invest in the wider farm estate and support its tenants.”

The energy park scheme which would have covered 900 acres of farmland caused uproar, in particular among tenant farmers who would be forced to move elsewhere.

The council spokeswoman said America Farm, which has a three-bed detached farmhouse and 13 acres of land, had previously been leased on a one-year contract.

Asked if the farm’s new owner could use it for wind turbines and solar panels, she replied: “As for all property and land owners, planning guidelines would need to be followed and permission sought for any new development on, or change of use of, the land.”