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Tattingstone: Inquiry into 94-acre solar farm planning appeal ends

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 May 2014

Aerial shot of the proposed solar farm area in Tattingstone.

Aerial shot of the proposed solar farm area in Tattingstone.

Archant

A planning appeal inquiry into a controversial solar farm in Tattingstone has concluded.

Campaigners have been fighting to block a proposal for energy-generating panels to be installed on a 94 acre site near the village.

And soon they will know whether their efforts have been successful – a final decision by the planning officers will hopefully be made within a few weeks.

Babergh District Council’s planning committee initially rejected developer Hive Energy’s plans for the solar farm in June last year.

But the company decided to appeal against the decision which led to the inquiry. It has been held over the last two weeks in Stutton Community Hall.

According to campaigners the majority of people living in Tattingstone are against the scheme, which is earmarked for land off Coxhall Road, and have various concerns about it.

Addressing the inquiry yesterday Nicholas Dutton, who lives in the village, said reduced lines of sight for road users because of screening around the solar farm was one issue which worried him.

Another concern was that increased air temperatures around the panels on hot days could be blown downwind towards woodland and damage the trees.

Mr Dutton said: “This is an unacceptable risk. The thermal footprint and risks to the ancient woodland should be grounds alone to refuse this application.”

David Wood, a Babergh District and Suffolk County councillor for Tattingstone, said he hoped the final ruling would be a favourable one for the objectors.

“I think we have put (forward) a very good case,” Mr Wood said. “I think we have conducted ourselves extremely well over the course of the inquiry with some very good points raised.

“I think people stood their ground well and I didn’t think people were overawed.

“We’re just hopeful that the inspector will let common sense prevail.

However Mr Wood did say he thought the decision may be a little longer in coming.

“I’d be surprised if it was in the next couple of weeks,” he added. “But the sooner the better.”

Pupils at Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge saw in the holidays with a ‘festival-like’ acoustic evening.

Screen Suffolk bosses have said they are encouraged by the amount of interest shown in youngsters for a career in TV and film.

The man arrested by police over a suspected murder in Bury St Edmunds on Thursday has been charged this evening.

Suffolk police have this evening confirmed that a man involved in a serious crash on the A11 at Barton Mills has died.

Claydon High School has been recognised for its sporting prowess by achieving the School Games Mark silver award.

Two junctions on the A12 near Kelvedon in Essex will be closed for three nights this week as bridge repair works continue.

Firefighters have been called to tackle a pile of wood and barn alight at a farm in Harleston this evening.

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