An appeal against the rejection of a proposed 16.2 hectare solar farm in Exmoor could set a new precedent for the solar industry.

The 5.7MW project by German developer Juwi was previously rejected by Mid Devon Council after more than 400 public comments were received.

Most focused on the visual impact of the site, which is located close to the Exmoor National Park. Comments called it “an act of vandalism” and a “desecration”.

An appeal has now been lodged that will test the strength of the government's recent changes to planning guidelines.

In response to criticisms raised by a number of community groups and MPs, the Department for Communities and Government changed its guidelines for solar farms to place more emphasis on community concerns.

A successful appeal for Juwi’s Keens Farm development would cast doubt on the impact of those changes.

The Solar Trade Association recently published its 10 Commitments for solar farm developers as it looks to encourage developers to engage with communities and maximise the benefits of solar farms.