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Mid Suffolk: Ambitious £7million solar panel project is backed

PUBLISHED: 06:00 08 April 2014

Mid Suffolk District Council in Needham Market.

Mid Suffolk District Council in Needham Market.

Archant

Two Suffolk councils are making a claim to be the greenest in the country with an ambitious project which could see solar panels installed on more than 2,100 properties.

Mid Suffolk has backed the first phase of the £7million initiative, with Babergh District Council due to vote on Thursday.

The project aims to prevent almost 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted and to cut households’ energy bills. If backed by Babergh, the councils would be the first in the UK to become carbon negative.

Derrick Haley, leader of the Conservative-run Mid Suffolk, said: “I think this shows that we are trying to address the fuel poverty and also to be environmentally friendly. This is what we are trying to do - to do two things at the same time. It’s a worthwhile project and we need to make sure it happens. I fully support this.”

Roy Barker, Mid Suffolk’s environment portfolio holder, said the previous installation of solar panels on the council’s sheltered housing had been positive. He said: “Looking at the savings, they are really massive. We are one of the first to be doing this - we are being forerunners again.”

Over a 20-year period the panels would raise the councils more than £7.5million. Andrew Stringer, Green councillor and opposition leader, said: “I obviously welcome the aim of what this is trying to do - it ticks a number of boxes. I want to focus on the particulars of what we are about to do and learn some lessons from the past.”

He wanted assurances over the quality of the proposed installations. Stephen Clarke, a senior surveyor for the councils, said he was “very happy” with the previous work of the contractor lined up.

The panels could be fitted on 1,250 Babergh properties and 900 in Mid Suffolk.

Six beach huts in an Essex seaside town have been ravaged by fire after a blaze last night.

Police are urging people to come forward with information following a rape in Colchester and have released an efit image of a man they want to trace in connection with the incident.

New parliamentary constituency proposals have been published – which show that in Suffolk the Tories may well have held Ipswich if the new boundaries had been in place at the general election.

A female arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life following a house fire in Ipswich has been released on police bail.

Storm Ophelia will see winds reach speeds of up to 80mph on exposed coastlines as amber weather warnings are issued for Northern Ireland, but East Anglia will avoid dangerous weather.

Two charities in Bury St Edmunds are set to benefit from a glittering night out featuring top stars and entertainers.

Ipswich Town legend Terry Butcher’s son – former army captain Christopher – has died, it has been reported.

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