Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 8°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

The A12 near Colchester.

Four people with minor injuries have been taken to Colchester General Hospital this morning after a car and a lorry crashed near the Colchester Bypass on the A12.

Suffolk and Essex go to the polls today

Have you voted yet? If you are still confused, see our Q&A on the day’s voting.

Sean Hickey from Haverhill who died while out cycling in Clare

Friends of Haverhill man Sean Hickey, who died after a collision with a car in west Suffolk, have paid tribute to the “kind, funny guy” and talented cyclist.

The A1071

A woman believed to be in her late 30s has been taken to Ipswich Hospital following a single vehicle collision near Wolves Wood in Hadleigh this morning.

Members of the Woodbridge Riverside Trust (left to right) Pete Clay, Malcolm Hodd, Andrew FitzGerald and Carolyn Gibbins, pictured ahed of demolition at the old Whisstocks boatyard

A £70,000 fundraising campaign has been launched to guarantee the future of a major new waterfront heritage project.

Meet the candidates vying for your votes ahead of the Suffolk police and crime commissioner elections

Today’s the day when voters in Suffolk can vote for a Police and Crime Commissioner for the county to serve for the next four years.

Christepher Geeves

A 20-year-old man from Great Cornard has been jailed for three years and four months after pleading guilty to possessing cocaine and cannabis with intent to supply.

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