Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Tattingstone: Council quizzed over solar farm decision

19:04 24 April 2014

Aerial shot of the proposed solar farm area in Tattingstone.

Aerial shot of the proposed solar farm area in Tattingstone.

Archant

An energy firm today quizzed council officials over a decision to reject an application for a controversial solar farm in the Suffolk countryside.

shares

In June of last year, members of Babergh District Council unanimously voted to reject plans for a solar park on 94 acres of farmland at Tattingstone, near Ipswich - despite officers recommending it for approval.

This led to the company behind the proposals, Hive Energy, launching an appeal, resulting in the ongoing public inquiry.

Councillors felt the benefits of the renewable energy produced by the solar farm would not outweigh the harm caused by the loss of valuable agricultural land, which is currently being used to grow oil seed rape.

They also feared the volume of panels would blight the landscape.

Today, at the second day of the public inquiry at Stutton Community Hall, lawyers representing Hive Energy questioned Babergh’s core strategy and planning framework that led to the decision.

The district council was asked how the harm of the project outweighed the benefits, while its core strategy used to reject the decision was scrutinised, including what scarce resources were being taken by the solar farm being built.

The council was also pressed as to why the project was seen as intrusive, and even though the landscape would be maintained by Hive Energy, a requirement in the strategy and framework, the decision was still refused.

The council was also asked whether they thought the project was a large scale scheme.

The representative for Babergh said views to Alton Water would be spoilt, and the bridleway on Coxhall Road, which backs onto the proposed site, would be affected.

They added the scheme was unacceptable in the public interest, which is why it was refused, and that the harm from the proposal was “significant”.

They also said that the area was not the right site for the solar farm, and that such a development on that site was seen as a “permanent loss”.

The inquiry continues.

shares
A double lightining strike has hit and destroyed a house. Darren Hobson surveys the damage. Picture: Stephen Huntley.

A hero father-of-six who led his family to safety following a lightning strike to his home has praised his neighbours’ support.

Stuart Cullen, from the Lowestoft area, who died in the terrorist attack in Tunisia.

The family of a man who died in the Tunisian massacre have paid tribute to their “third musketeer”.

New Street, Woodbridge

Mrs Poppy died after a collision in New Street, Woodbridge, on Wednesday.

Libby Brown headteacher at Kyson Primary, Woodbridge.

A board of school governors has launched a fierce attack on Suffolk County Council after their headteacher had to stop work for seven weeks.

BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy with one of the Scamnesty bids

A Suffolk Trading Standards Scamnesty campaign is using special bins across the county in a bid to snare unscrupulous conmen.

Cedar House, Pytches Road, Melton - set to have ten new homes in its grounds.

Developers who have bought a prime site on the edge of Woodbridge from the district council expect to submit proposals to create new homes next month.

Beach patrol rescue spaniels from Clacton beach.
Owner and her dogs.

A beach patrol team at Clacton swung into action to rescue two dogs yesterday evening.

Culford Girls under 18 Hockey Team January 1990

Were you a member of the Culford girls under 18 hockey team in January 1990. Were you in the squad photographed here?

Sybil Andrews at work in her studio, circa 1980 - Photo from the book

Suffolk artists are often hidden from history, but a campaigner is hoping to rectify that.

Murrayfield Primary School.

The headteacher of an Ipswich primary school has resigned just weeks after parents criticised a decision to axe after-school clubs and the end of term disco.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages