The initial six-week public consultation ran by the developers of the proposed Lime Down Solar Park is due to end on Friday, April 26.

Aiming to create 500MW of clean energy, enough to power 115,000 homes, the development would stretch across a two-thousand-acre of farmland to the north of the M4, southwest of Malmesbury.

The plans have been met with strong local opposition, with residents travelling to Parliament Square on Thursday, April 18, to protest against them.

Equivalent in size to over 1,000 football pitches, the solar park would be one of the largest in the country.

The campaigners argue that such solar farms should be located on former industrial sites or next to motorways, rather than on productive farmland. 

MP for North Wiltshire James Gray said: “I advise your readers to utterly ignore the absurd, so-called consultation put out by the developers and instead of that, focus their attention on making their views known to government, the planning inspector in Bristol, the parish council, the county council and to all the other decision-makers around who will have some degree of say in whether or not this thing goes ahead.”

A spokesperson from the Lime Down Solar Park development team said: "In delivering our vision for the project we want to ensure people living and working in the area have a chance to inform and influence the development of our proposals from an early stage – so it’s really important that as many people as possible take part in this consultation to share their views with us on our proposed scheme.

"We have already received a significant amount of feedback and had some valuable conversations with people living in properties close to the scheme to understand concerns they have about how it could impact them specifically.

"The level of community engagement to date has been encouraging and we want to continue hearing from as many residents as possible on what areas are of most importance to them."

They added: "We anticipate holding a further stage of consultation later this year, during which time we will present our more detailed proposals and give people another opportunity to have their say ahead of us finalising and submitting our application for development consent to the Planning Inspectorate.

"We expect to submit this DCO application in early 2025."