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Levington: Solar farm set for go-ahead

15:00 17 January 2013

Solar farm developers are hoping to gain approval at Stratton Hall, next to the A14 between Levington and Kirton.

Solar farm developers are hoping to gain approval at Stratton Hall, next to the A14 between Levington and Kirton.

Archant

COMMUNITY leaders will visit a solar farm in north Norfolk next week before deciding whether three massive projects should be build on farmland in Suffolk Coastal.

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The council has received applications for a 62-acre scheme with 47,500 free-standing solar panels at Stratton Hall, alongside the A14 between Kirton and Levington, a 127-acre development with 100,000 panels at Hacheston, and 74 acres with 64,200 panels at Great Glemham.

The development control committee will meet on Wednesday, January 23 to decide the schemes – which would provide electricity from the sun for around 13,000 homes – and is being recommended to give the go-ahead for all three projects.

Committee member Susan Harvey said on Monday, January 21 councillors would be visiting a solar panel farm at North Walsham to see a project first hand to help analyse its impact on the landscape.

“I think it will be interesting to actually see a solar farm and should help our decision-making,” she said.

“In my ward, Kirton Parish Council has not objected but there are still some concerns which need discussion and I am interested to know what grade of agricultural land is to be used.”

The proposal for Stratton Hall, put forward by Solarcentury, would produce electricity to power nearly 3,000 homes. The area would be protected by fencing and CCTV.

Levington and Stratton Hall Parish Council has not objected but has “serious concerns for a potential increase in the risk for accidents on the A14” from Felixstowe if drivers become distracted by the panels and has suggested fencing around the site.

Head of planning Philip Ridley said: “There is a clear steer and message coming through policy documents that the presumption is in favour of development and renewable energy proposals should be enthusiastically supported in so far that they do not amount to harm to the local environment or amenity of local people.

“The proposal will contribute towards meeting the national energy targets with the energy generated being transferred directly into the national grid.”

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3 comments

  • Please forget all this twaddle about the so-called green technologies like solar energy, wind farms and tidal power generation. What is really happening here is that the consumer is filling the pockets of the landowners, who reap all sorts of unearned dosh from allowing these "technologies" to be sited on their property. What is required is huge investment in conventional gas and coal power stations and expansion of our nuclear power generating capacity. If you don't listen to this line of argument the lights will go out all over the UK, which is exactly where our crazy local and national politicians are heading. Wake up Britain.

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    cwayconslt

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • The figure of 13,000 homes - is this the maximum number when the sun is shining strongly? Or is it the average over a 24 hour period 3656 days of the year? Remember that solar arrays produce no power at all when it is cold and dark - which is when there is the highest demand. Remember also that we will still need enough conventional power stations to provide for peak demand when it is cold and dark and these need to be kept running so that they can power up to full output quickly to meet demand. So in this country solar power is subsidised by a tax on us all because it is not economic without a subsidy. The economics of wind power are at the best dubious but solar power is just a rip off to give money to the suppliers. So hopefully common sense will prevail and planning consent will be refused.

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    DaveR

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

  • Better to grow food rather then plant solar panels. The panels output drops to zero after dark, and then the load has to be fed from stations that are already capable of generating electricity continually. This scheme is utterly inefficient and a wasteful use of arable land. In these times of austerity when money is in short supply, we should be spending our money rather more sensibly.

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    Rolf

    Friday, January 18, 2013

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

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