Rain

Rain

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

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.

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.”

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

Mill Street flooding in Mildenhall - 10.36am on 31/5/16 - picture by Helen Hysted

In just one hour, flood waters rose high enough to cause a BMW to break down in Mildenhall this morning.

Floods block Holywells Road, Ipswich

Heavy rain and flooding has caused delays on the road and rail networks across Suffolk this morning, after more than a months worth of rain fell in four hours.

The Suffolk Show of 2014 is remembered for the visit of Prince Harry, not the rain on the day before the show.

Paul Geater has been a regular visitor to the Suffolk Show over many decades – and will be back there again as part of our coverage on both days of the event. He has no worries about the weather this year, despite Tuesday’s rain.

The Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Sudbury.

The rain may have stopped but the skies over Suffolk are grey and threatening, and your plans for the day have now fallen flat.

Gary Avis chats to the cast of the Co-op Juniors' production of Starlight Express. Photo: James Fletcher

Once a Co-op Junior always a Co-op Junior. Renowned Royal Ballet Star Gary Avis talks to entertainment writer Wayne Savage about how the group took a bullied young boy and helped turn him into the man he is today.

Lynne in the ball pit

There are certain activities that are not designed for a 61-year-old granny with a replacement knee, writes Lynne Mortimer.

Liam Bennet's submission for Stowmarket High School's sixth form art exhibtion at the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts.

An exhibition showcasing the “amazing and unusual” photography produced by Suffolk sixth form students will go on display at a community-owned arts centre next month.

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

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24