A plan by Healey’s Cyder Farm – the home of the best-selling Rattler brand – to construct a solar farm has received objections on the grounds of the effect it may have on a nearby ancient monument.

Perranporth-based solar energy company Natural Generation has applied to build a 900kW photovoltaic solar farm, 15 rows of 2,226 panels in total, on 2.48 hectares of agricultural land at the cider farm at Callestick, between Truro and Newquay.

The solar farm would allow Healey’s to reduce its carbon footprint by 65 per cent; a reduction of 175 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Healey’s already offsets 39 tonnes of carbon with an existing wind turbine and 25kw solar farm. The proposed solar array would run for 40 years, after which the site would be decommissioned and restored to agricultural use.

The proposal has been called to next week’s Cornwall Council central planning committee by local councillor Steve Arthur due to concerns regarding loss of agricultural land and visual impact. The planning department has recommended conditional approval.

Perranzabuloe Parish Council has objected, stating the “cumulative effect of being too close to a large existing solar farm would have a detrimental impact on the landscape”.

Historic England, while not against the principle of a solar array at the cider farm, is concerned the impact it would have at the proposed location would be harmful to the significance of a legally protected ancient monument by “degrading its setting”. A report to the council says: “Development at the application site would negatively impact upon the ability to appreciate the monument within its surroundings.”

The protected feature is a bowl barrow, a funeral monument which was built between the Late Neolithic period and the Late Bronze Age, around 2400 to 1500 BC.

There is currently just one public comment on the council’s planning portal and it is in favour of the application. A number of bodies, including Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, also support the plans.

Healey’s has applied for a grant towards the financing of the solar farm as part of the government’s shared prosperity fund through Cornwall Council. The grant is worth £588,000 and the agreement specifies that planning approval has to be secured by the end of this month and all financial expenditure is made by March 31, 2025. The application says the loss of this grant would hugely impact the business’ ability to meet its own sustainability aims and objectives.

The cider farm aims to become fully self‐sufficient for electricity by 2030 which in part is due to the business plan and in response to the business trebling in the past ten years with national and international sales. As part of its green plans, the business has also undertaken a scheme which involves planting 4,000 trees and 12,000 vines over a four-year period.

A decision will be made at the planning meeting on Monday, March 11.