Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Hacheston: Solar farm appeal rejected as Eric Pickles backs Suffolk Coastal’s decision to dismiss proposals for 127-acre site

20:18 23 May 2014

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles dismissed the appeal and refused planning permission.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles dismissed the appeal and refused planning permission.

Archant

An appeal to overturn a decision to throw out proposals for one of Europe’s biggest solar farms to be built in a Suffolk village has been rejected.

shares

Suffolk Coastal District Council waged a long campaign defending its refusal to allow green energy firm Hive Energy permission to go ahead with the 25 megawatt (mW) project across 127 acres of farmland at Hacheston, near Framlingham.

And today it emerged Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles dismissed the appeal and refused planning permission.

Bob Snell, chairman of Suffolk Coastal’s development management committee, welcomed the news, saying the authority had a “duty” to protect the area’s environment and heritage.

However, Julian Pertwee, business development director at Hive Energy, claimed the rejection was a “very big disappointment” for green energy, admitting it was “unlikely” the company will seek another appeal.

Objectors argued the land was still fertile and should continue to be used for agricultural production.

Concerns were also raised about risk of flooding caused by existing drainage pipes under the field being destroyed to make way for the photovoltaic panels.

Hive Energy insisted the application was in line with local and national planning policy, and that the site was not considered an environmentally “sensitive” area. They said it met the Government’s policy for presumption in favour of sustainable development.

The 56-page report confirming the appeal rejection said: “The proposed development is the wrong scheme in the wrong location.

“The evidence demonstrates that the adverse effects of this scheme comprehensively outweigh the benefit that arises from increased renewable energy generation.

“It has also been shown that this scheme is poorly thought through; its effects only partially assessed; and no alternatives considered.

“Local and national policy recognises the need for solar energy; but it is also clear that such schemes can be accommodated in England without the need for the significant adverse effects that arise from this proposal.”

Mr Snell said Suffolk Coastal encourages “well thought-out development in the district, but not at any price”.

He said: “We have a duty to protect our area’s unique environment and heritage.

“We felt that the suggested solar park conflicted with the Local Plan and would also have an adverse impact on the landscape in this rural area, as well as a negative impact on the nearby Parham Old Hall which is a listed building.”

Mr Pertwee said: “There was no Environmental Impact Assessment required and we were expecting to win the appeal, so it is a very big disappointment for green energy.

“We have 17 sites across the UK but have had no success in Suffolk. It is very sad. It is unlikely we will make a further appeal.”

shares

1 comment

  • Not before time, either. It's a pity that many others of these hideous things have been dumped on the countryside, with at least one in an AONB. No surprise that some are the products of Tory landowning and farming MPs, who have lconsiderable experience in milking every possible grant or advantage, and blow the countryside they profess to love and cherish.

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Friday, May 23, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Tom Challis and Julia Carroll just before they left to travel the world in February.

The parents of Julia Carroll, from Boxford, have told how the 22-year-old made contact via Facebook to confirm she was safe after escaping Nepal earthquake.

Shawn Leek setting out on the first of seven marathons. Today he hopes to complete the challenge

Shawn Leek is feeling the pain today having run more than 180 miles in the past week - ending with the London Marathon this afternoon.

The Anzac Day parade from the Cornhill in Ipswich on Sunday led by the Ipswich Piping Society

Thousands of Australian and New Zealand forces who died during the First World War’s disastrous Gallipoli campaign have been commemorated on the centenary of the offensive in Ipswich today.

The Orwell District Scouts St George's Day open air service by the Leisure Centre in Felixstowe on Sunday

Scouts and Guides proudly raised their flags and paraded through Suffolk towns today to mark St George’s Day.

Angel Hall, missing 14-year-old girl from Leiston

A teenager from east Suffolk who was reported missing yesterday morning has been found safe and well.

Fire in Great Yeldham - stock photo

A ground floor flat was heavily smoke logged when fire crews arrived at the scene this afternoon.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A man who was banned from keeping dogs for 15 years after footage showed him punching and slapping his two Labradors has had the disqualification reduced from 15 years to 10.

The Revd Martin Dawes with his model train lay out at Woodbridge Methodist Church during the Toy and Model Train Show.

The pews were transformed into platforms and hymn sheets were discarded in favour of timetables as a church was transformed into a model railway network.

Lowestoft Town centre.

A fire broke out on the ground a semi-detached house on Victoria Road this morning.

Suffolk Cycle Sportive for St Elizabeth Hospice at Alton Water.

A charity has reported a rise in the number of women joining their annual Suffolk Sportive cycle event in the wake of the high-profile Women Tour passing through the county.

Most read

Topic pages