US town rejects solar panels amid fears they 'suck energy from the sun', cause cancer - and will harm house prices

A retired science teacher said she was concerned the panels would prevent plants in the area from growing

A US town has rejected a proposal for a solar farm following public concerns.

Members of the public in Woodland, North Carolina, expressed their fear and mistrust at the proposal to allow Strata Solar Company to build a solar farm off Highway 258.

During the Woodland Town Council meeting, one local man, Bobby Mann, said solar farms would suck up all the energy from the sun and businesses would not go to Woodland, the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald reported.

Jane Mann, a retired science teacher, said she was concerned the panels would prevent plants in the area from photosynthesizing, stopping them from growing.

Ms Mann said she had seen areas near solar panels where plants are brown and dead because they did not get enough sunlight.

She also questioned the high number of cancer deaths in the area, saying no one could tell her solar panels didn't cause cancer.

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The area around Woodland is a popular choice because it has an electrical substation allowing the panels to be hooked up to the national grid.

A spokesperson for Strata told the meeting: "There are no negative impacts. A solar farm is a wonderful use for a property like this."

They added: "The panels don't draw additional sunlight."

The council voted three to one against rezoning the land and later voted for a moratorium on future solar farms. Among the reasons they gave were that a growing solar industry would harm the economy and reduce the value of homes in the area.

Speaking after the COP-21 summit on climate change in Paris pledged to limit global warming below the threshold of 2°c, Pope Francis said the plan will require "a concerted and generous commitment" from everyone.

Experts said a move towards renewable power, with investment in wind and solar energy, will be required to cut down on emissions.

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