WE sympathise with villagers living near the site of a proposed new solar farm on 120 acres of land near Appleton.

Their fears of the site looking like “a prison camp” do sound justified when you learn the £20m plan by Hive Energy would include a six-foot high fence and CCTV cameras dotted around the 70,000-panel farm.

The need to find new sources of energy does need to be balanced against the effect some of these innovations have on our green and pleasant land - and that applies just as much to solar farms as it does to wind farms with their towering structures looming over the landscape.

Shiny glass panels reflecting in the sun is not what you expect to find when you take a stroll in the country.

Feelings over this latest proposal for a solar farm near Appleton are bound to be exacerbated by the fact that the land is in the Oxford Green Belt, which has enough pressure on it already with the county’s growing housing demands.

Villagers want to preserve the Green Belt, fearing that once it is “industrialised” they would never get it back.

That view, of course, has to be balanced against Hive’s promise that the farm would only last 25 years, after which the land would be returned to Green Belt.