Villagers have staged a protest against a proposed 70-acre solar farm which they fear will “deface” an iconic landmark.

Last month a planning application was submitted for the construction of a 15MW solar farm on the edge of Potterne, at land known as One Tree Hill.

The lone tree on the hill replaced an oak originally planted by John Hunt-Grubbe in 1815 to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo and has become much-loved locally.

While developers insist the tree will be preserved, many are concerned solar panels will “deface” the picturesque landscape, which is a popular public right of way.

On Friday, June 28, over 100 people gathered on the hill to protest the proposed development.

Supporters of Potterne Solar Action Group were out in force with banners and placards to “save One Tree Hill.”

READ MORE: Scale of Wiltshire solar farm revealed in latest plans

Robert Hunt-Grubbe protesting at One Tree HillRobert Hunt-Grubbe protesting at One Tree Hill (Image: Simon Folkard)

Spokesperson Steve Holt said: “Firstly it was just a coming together of people of all age groups, all walks of life because they are not having their hill taken from them.

“There, overlooking beautiful views, in the sunshine, you could see for miles - 360 degrees in all directions – and silence all around.

“The one thing on everybody’s lips was ‘what a ludicrous place for a solar farm.'"

Parish Councillor Robert Hunt-Grubbe wants to prevent development on the land between the village and Devizes.

He added: “Potterne and Devizes are now so close that One Tree Hill is the only remaining open space separating them. It must be kept free of development.

“More parish council time has been spent fighting to preserve this rural gap than on any other planning issue.”

Protesters at One Tree HillProtesters at One Tree Hill (Image: Simon Folkard)

ADAS Planning, working on behalf of developer Greenfield, previously said the scheme would provide “significant, long lasting, and wide-ranging” public benefits.

This would include enough renewable energy to power 10,000 homes.

The firm did not respond when approached for comment on the protest.

A public consultation will run until Tuesday, July 23 and has been flooded with dozens of comments, many from residents voicing their objection.

One of these residents, Mark Godding, said: “I am not against solar farms, indeed I am for green energy.

“But for me, One Tree Hill is a beautiful place. A place treasured by many of those that live around it.

“I have walked there for over 35 years and I am still inspired by the view.

“This proposal will deface and destroy this much-loved place.

“I struggle to think of a more inappropriate and environmentally damaging place to put a solar farm.”