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Essex: Two former Second World War airfields set to become solar farms

10:04 04 September 2014

How the solar farm could look.

How the solar farm could look.

Archant

Two proposed solar farms on disused Second World War airfields in north Essex have been tipped for the go-ahead by council planners.

Developers Push Energy want to create the energy-producing solar panel arrays at the old Birch Airfield, in Blind Lane, and Boxted Airfield in Langham Lane, Langham.

Members of Colchester Borough Council’s planning committee will rule on the two applications during a meeting on Thursday September 11 from 6pm at the Town Hall.

Planning officials at the authority have recommended both proposals are given the green light, subject to planning conditions controlling the lifespan of the sites.

The Birch Airfield site would see an estimated 26,400 panels put up on a 6.8 hectare site (equivalent to around eight football pitches), enough to power approximately 1,485 homes during its lifetime.

In Langham, the 20 hectare site (25 football pitches) would power approximately 4,500 homes.

Both sites would have a lifespan of 25 years, and would allow sheep to be grazed underneath the panels to maintain agricultural use.

Objections have been made to both proposals, with concerns raised about the visual impact on the countryside and the lack of biodiversity promoted by the grazing of sheep as the sole remaining agricultural use.

However there is also some support for the plans from those who say solar energy should be promoted, and Boxted Parish Council also supports the Langham application.

Planning officers have also backed calls for a new bridleway to be provided by the developers across the Boxted Airfield site.

2 comments

  • What more totally useless projects to further rip off the tax payer. None of these farms would be built if there were no subsidy from the goverment. Solar panels only produce electricity when it is least required and what they produce cannot be stored for later use. They do not work when it is dark and in the winter it is dark for up to 16 hours a day nor do they work when it is raining, snowing, hailing, or covered in snow, frost or ice. When is most electricity needed? When it is dark wet and freezing cold in the winter and for cooking meals at breakfast and dinner when it is dark outside. When the public have to rely on them for heating thousands will die from the cold. Those wealthy people with air con in their homes tho will be able to turn it on in the heat of the summer which means the poor will die to keep the rich cool. Brilliant!

    Report this comment

    David T Fisk

    Monday, September 8, 2014

  • Its a great way to utilise the area with the sheep keeping the grass down and the panels providing some cover from the weather (no brainer) just hope other solar farms do this as well.

    Report this comment

    golfo

    Saturday, September 6, 2014

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