Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 5°C

min temp: -2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Newton: Plans to create a solar farm the size of 37 football pitches are rejected by Babergh District Council

10:48 20 February 2014

View from Edwardstone church across the fields where the proposed solar panels would have been sited.

View from Edwardstone church across the fields where the proposed solar panels would have been sited.

The company behind a failed bid to build a solar farm the size of 37 football pitches in a ‘special’ Suffolk landscape has hinted it could now abandon the project.

At a tense meeting yesterday attended by dozens of protestors, Babergh’s planning committee rejected an application by solar farm development company, Sun and Soil, to install solar panels on 26 hectares of agricultural land between Newton and Edwardstone.

Council officers originally recommended the application for approval despite the concerns of people living in both villages.

But councillors voted 9/5 to reject the scheme, due to fears about the impact it could have on the landscape and the nearby listed buildings, including St Mary’s Church in Edwardstone. They were also worried about the temporary loss of agricultural land for the 25 years of the solar farm’s operational life.

Sun and Soil representative Andrew Allen said councillors who had visited the site voted in favour of the scheme. But he added that the company had not yet decided whether to appeal against the decision. He said: “At this stage, we have not made a decision about what comes next.

“We may consider downsizing the project or cancelling it altogether.”

After the meeting, Babergh councillor for Boxford and Edwardstone, Bryn Hurren – who received more than 100 letters from people opposed to the scheme – said he was delighted the committee had listened to the arguments and that “democracy and common sense had prevailed.”

He said: “We are campaigning across Suffolk to get pylons removed and wires undergrounded and this kind of scheme would hold that back. Sixty eight acres of glass, plastic and wires is not what we want in our countryside – it’s yesterday’s technology.

“There’s also the concern about the impact it could have on a finely balanced rural economy. There’s a wider area to consider and solar farms are not what we need here.”

Planning committee chairman, Peter Beer, said members felt the application did not give sufficient weight to mitigating the landscape and heritage impact of the proposals - or to the consequences of removing such high quality arable land from agricultural use.

He continued: “While Babergh remains committed to greater renewable energy generation, all developments must be appropriate to their sites.

“In this case the applicant simply failed to convince the committee that this was the case.”

2 comments

  • We really need solar farms, but high quality arable land may not be the most sensible place to put them. Surely there is a lot of unattractive, poor quality, land that could be used. Maybe start with the ex-industrial land on the Suffolk side of the Manningtree bridge?

    Report this comment

    BrandyButter

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

  • we know they would not look very nice,a field of weeds is the same.we will soon be back to oil lamps.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

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

Ed Sheeran

Fast cars, towering mansions and luxurious holidays are usually top of the shopping list for young popstars earning millions of pounds.

The crash happened on the A14 at Creeting St Mary. File picture.

A man last night died during a crash between a car and a lorry, police have confirmed.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds. Photograph: Simon Parker.

Nurses and other clinical staff could be forced out of West Suffolk Hospital due to a 65% hike in staff parking charges, it has been claimed.

CCTV still of a man police want to speak to following a theft in Clacton.

A thief stole a woman’s bag as she sat the table of a fast food restaurant in Essex.

The sink hole in Newton Road, Sudbury. Picture: Seana Hughes

A sinkhole has opened up in Sudbury, forcing the closure of key road in and out of the town.

The team at Seasalt Woodbridge have chosen to donate their funds to the Royal British Legion after selling off their handmade paper owls from the shop window display.

Paper owls which were a focal point in a shop’s window display have been sold off to raise cash for Woodbridge Royal British Legion.

Runners take part in the Ipswich parkrun in Christchurch Park. Photograph Simon Parker

A well-attended weekly run is cancelled today due to problems on the course.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24