Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 13°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Solar farms must not be allowed to turn the countryside made famous by renowned artist John Constable into a “surrealist” painting - MP

08:34 29 January 2014

Brooks Newmark

Brooks Newmark

©PHILIPPE HAYS ¥ +44(0)7860 133 740

Solar farms must not be allowed to turn the countryside made famous by renowned artist John Constable into a “surrealist” painting, an Essex MP will tell the planning minister today.

shares

Braintree’s Brooks Newmark said he did not want to be labelled a “nimby”, but will call for a change to the regulations to protect high-grade farm land, and represent the views of local people.

He has secured a debate in the Commons to raise concerns about plans by three developers to build solar farms around Pentlow, Foxearth, Liston, Belchamp St Paul and Belchamp Otten, near Sudbury.

He said: “If you looked at a Constable painting and imagined there were 300 acres of solar panels, you would think you were looking at a surrealist painting.”

He continued: “I want to be careful that I am not a nimby. I don’t want to support my constituents that are nimbies. But in this case, they have a justifiable case.”

He is supporting a plan on a disused airfield in Gosfield, near Braintree.

“That is something I am happy to support,” Mr Newmark added. “What I am not happy to support is something on prime agricultural land, in an area of outstanding beauty, which has no support whatsoever from the community. We need to differentiate between the two.”

He has already written to ministers Greg Barker and Eric Pickles and handed in a petition against the plans, with over 700 signataries.

He said he would ask planning minister Nick Boles to review regulations, which do not insist on an environmental impact assessment.

He said that “prime arable land” needed to be protected and local concerns taken into account.

He claimed that as long as biodiversity boxes were “ticked” – which could just mean sheep grazed on the land – councillors could be minded to override local opinion.

He said: “Not only do I want readers to imagine 8ft high solar panels in the Constable painting, but in between the solar panels I want them to imagine sheep grazing.

“It is something that Dali or Dada could never have dreamed up in their wildest imaginations.”

shares

2 comments

  • There are many good reasons to oppose or support any particular development. The fact that someone once painted the place completely lacks rationality.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Dada was not a person, and Brooks ought to know that. A mere movement cannot have imagination. As for Dalí, he dreamed of all sorts of things far more extraordinary than arrays of solar panels with sheep.

    Report this comment

    Boris

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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

Lifeboat

Coastguard services were called to rescue a teenager in Corton, near Lowestoft yesterday evening.

Major fire at a fish and chip shop on Beach Road in Hemsby.

Picture: James Bass

Villagers and businesses in Hemsby have vowed to pull together after a huge fire ripped through a chip shop.

Five of the Ipswich drugs gang were jailed.

A professional organised crime group who dealt drugs in Ipswich were sentenced today.

Kaiser Chiefs play Newmarket this week. Photo: Danny North

Darren Lorking admits he was wrong write the Kaiser Chiefs off and enjoyed a ‘rock show’ performance at Newmarket Nights.

Christopher Randall (ls)

A 40-year-old man has been sent to prison after police found a video of him sexually abusing a child.

Police issued this  e-fit of an individual they would like to trace after an elderly woman was scammed out of a large amount of money in Ipswich.

An e-fit image of a man wanted after an elderly victim was conned into handing over a large sum of money has been released.

Battisford

A Suffolk man is set to remove more than 100 parrots from his land after an appeal to keep them was dismissed by the planning inspectorate.

Richard and Cathy Brown of Ipswich who won over £6million on the Lotto.

A decorator from Bury St Edmunds has scooped a major win on the EuroMillions after matching the five main numbers and one Lucky Star.

Travellers at Rougham Hill in Bury.

Travellers who set up a high-profile encampment in Kesgrave have now moved onto private land in Bury St Edmunds.

Kestutis Rakevicius

A Lithuanian lorry driver has been jailed after a chemical spill caused an eight-hour closure of a key road linking the A14 and A140 in Suffolk, costing the taxpayer £130,000.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages