PLANS for a solar farm will be assessed for its impact on Oxford’s green belt.

The plans to install 50,688 solar panels on a field just outside Barton are being proposed by environmental consultancy company ADAS.

Yesterday South Oxfordshire District Council planners ruled an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was needed. The land, owned by farmer Robert Brooks at Wadley Hill Farm, lies next to Sidlings Copse, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Slow worms, a lizard-like reptile, live in the woods, and it is known as a site for different habitats, including a reedbed.

District planner Sharon Crawford stated in the report: “The site is not well contained and there will be visual impact, archaeological and nature conservation issues.”

Chairman of Beckley and Stowood Parish Council, David Scott, said the scheme was discussed by the parish council on Thursday evening.

He said: “We think it is right that the EIA is taking place. We will wait and see now if a full application is submitted.”