Enfield Golf Practice Facility Likely To Close In Favor Of Solar Farm

ENFIELD, CT – After nearly three decades of recreational enjoyment by professional golfers and beginners alike, the lone driving range in Enfield is subject to closure this fall to make way for a solar farm.

The Pleasant View Golf Park, situated at 110 North Street since 1993, has leased the property since its opening. The 34-plus acres of land, including the adjacent St. Bernard Cemetery, was purchased for $ 950,000 by the Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Archdiocese of Hartford (CCA) in 2009, according to Enfield property records.

On April 25, the CCA filed a petition with the Connecticut Siting Council (CSC), asking for a declaratory ruling that a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need would not be required for the construction, maintenance and operation of a 4.0 megawatt alternate current ground -mounted solar photovoltaic facility on the property.

The solar panels would be installed on a 19.65-acre portion of the property, including the existing driving range. Construction is expected to begin in early 2023, with completion expected by next July.

A petition has been started at the driving range by residents who do not wish to lose the only golf practice facility in the area. A sign at the center points out the sitting council is ignoring one of its primary responsibilities listed on the State of Connecticut website, “to minimize damage to scenic, historic and recreational values.”

In its application, the CCA wrote, “No state or locally designated scenic roads or scenic areas are located near the site and therefore none will be physically or visually impacted by development of the project.” The application also indicates, “The nearest public open space is the Scantic River State Park, approximately 0.56 miles south of the facility.” There is no mention in the application of “recreational values.”

In addition to serving the general public, the range is used by the Enfield High School golf team and Enfield Adult Education. Numerous lessons are provided there each year by PGA professionals.

Neither Pleasant View owner Jeff Lipton not CCA Executive Director John Pinone could be reached for comment.

Discussion of the plan is on the Enfield Town Council agenda for its next meeting on Monday, May 16. Correspondence to the sitting council will be accepted until May 25, at siting.council@ct.gov or melanie.bachman@ct.gov.

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