VILLAGERS armed with sunglasses and signs protested against plans for 45,000 solar panels on farmland in Ardleigh.

Residents in Ardleigh and Great Bromley say plans to turn a site the size of 20 football pitches into a solar farm would be a blot on their idyllic landscape.

Jonathan Hardy, owner of Chancery Farm, in Park Road, wants to lease 16 hectares to Vogt Solar to raise money to replant orchards after a crop failure two years ago.

About 70 residents carried signs and donned sunglasses to protest at the glare they claim will emanate from the 6ft panels if Tendring Council approves the application in July.

See Wednesday's Gazette for more