Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Hacheston/Parham: Solar bids set for green light

06:00 18 January 2013

Solar farm

Solar farm

PLANS for two solar farms, just a few miles apart in the Suffolk countryside, look set to be given the go-ahead.

shares

Planning officer have recommended that a Suffolk Coastal development committee approves an application for a 150-acre solar farm at Hacheston, near Framlingham, and a development half its size at nearby Parham Airfield.

The larger site, proposed by green energy firm developers Hive Energy, could generate between 25 and 35 megawatts (MW) of electricity, but came up against fierce opposition from three parish councils on several grounds including size, loss of arable land and visual impact on the landscape and setting of listed building Abbey Farm.

Despite the plan also attracting 58 letters of objection, and the disapproval of Suffolk MP Dan Poulter, planners felt that the benefit of renewable energy would outweigh the visual and environmental impact of the proposal.

A recommendation, due to go before councillors on Wednesday, acknowledges a “short term landscape impact” but argues that it will diminish with the growth of proposed landscaping, including a wildflower meadow.

The report continues: “Bearing in mind the low height of the solar panels, the relatively flat landscape, the existing woodland to the west of the site, the proposed buffer zones around the site and the proposed mitigation measures including screen planting, it is not considered that the impact of the proposal on the landscape or Abbey Farm will be so significant as to outweigh the benefit of renewable energy that will be provided.”

Meanwhile, a less contentious proposal is also set to be recommended for approval in Parham, where developers AGRenewables hope to build a 15MW site on farmland owned by Argus Hardy south of Great Glemham - part of the former Parham Airfield.

Again, planners felt that landscape impact would likely be the most critical issue in considering the application, but said that the low-level nature of the development, the existing landscape and topography, and the potential for mitigation would not significantly outweigh the benefit.

The proposal received six letters of objection and four in support.

Decisions on both sites are due to be made on Wednesday.

shares

0 comments

Les Munro while visiting the Bomber Command Memorial in London. Credit: RAFBF/Adrian Brooks/Imagewise.

The last surviving Dambusters pilot, Les Munro, has died in New Zealand, aged 96.

Orwell Bridge

Police have said that a man who died after apparently falling from the Orwell Bridge was from the Halesworth area.

Firefighters attended the incident

A small fire in an agricultural building in Burnt Fen, near Mildenhall, was extinguished in the early hours of this morning.

Police are investigating

Essex Police are investigating after silver-plated cutlery and an imitation Rolex watch were stolen from the house in Fennes Road.

Ipswich Magistrates Court in Elm Street.

A dishonest driver has admitted filling up with petrol on 14 occasions at garages across Suffolk and Essex but failing to pay for his fuel.

An 82-year-old woman who died after a collision in Little Wigborough near Colchester last month has been named as Jean Wilcox.

An 82-year-old woman who died after a collision in Little Wigborough near Colchester last month has been named as Jean Wilcox.

Ipswich Magistrates Court in Elm Street.

A Mothercare shop worker had admitted stealing childcare and maternity items worth nearly £12,500 and selling a stolen pushchair to a police officer.

Ipswich Crown Court

A robber who broke into an Ipswich flat before threatening the occupant with a kitchen knife has been jailed.

Hare coursing (stock photo)

Four men and a teenage boy arrested in connection with hare coursing in Suffolk have been charged, police have said.

Wayne Leech and Mark Ripper with soap star Gemma Atkinson at the Slimming World Man of the Year awards

Two Suffolk men have shed a total of more than 21st in little over a year – and been named among the country’s top male slimmers for 2015.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages