SOLAR panels planned for a vacant field in the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty would be better sited on a roof, it has been suggested. 

Householder Victoria Burgess has applied to Monmouthshire County Council for planning permission for 16 panels, in two rows of eight, to be placed on the ground in a field next to her home, at Ty Du Road, Itton Common, Chepstow. 

There is a hedge separating the field from the house and the panels would be placed next to it. 

But Josh Bailey, the Wye Valley AONB planning officer, has said the panels would be better sited on the roof of the house. 

He has told the council’s planning department, which is considering the application, the panels are likely to be visible from public vantage points. 

He said: “Given the somewhat current random siting, public eyes may easily get drawn to the ground-mounted array. As such, we feel that consideration may wish to be given to an alternative siting, on the other side of the hedgerow boundary within the garden curtilage of Victoria Cottage or to erect the panels on the roof of Victoria Cottage.

“Roof mounted PV panels, when framed in a consistent colour, readily fit into the landscape. The proposed panels are all black meaning they are least visibly obtrusive, and are unlikely to cause any glare.” 

He has suggested if the panels are approved there should be a condition they are removed when they no longer generate electricity.