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

Aerial shot of the proposed solar farm area in Tattingstone. Aerial shot of the proposed solar farm area in Tattingstone.

Edmund Crosthwaite edmund.crosthwaite@archant.co.uk
Friday, May 2, 2014
7:00 AM

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

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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.”

6 comments

  • That's a bit of a basic view. It might take a while to pay back the initial outlay, but the times when they are working at full capacity provides sufficient feed in to cover the times when they don't - hence they will payback their costs and then some. If we all had the approach you have, future generations won't be around to have these meaningful debates at the bottom of newspaper articles :-)

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    be36

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

  • All this talk about green energy is fine but why is it that there is never a mention that when the sun don't shine and the wind don,t blow there aint no electricity. 2years ago we had the coldest four weeks for 100 years (it was said) during which time there was no wind at all and no electricity from the east coast wind farms. Solar panels do not produce anything when covered in snow, frost or ice nor do they work when raining, hailing snowing or when the cloud is thick. In fact they only work when they are not needed. When the weather is bad and people are freezing cold, they need power and that has to be supplied from nuclear, coal or gas driven turbines.

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    David T Fisk

    Saturday, May 3, 2014

  • It looks an ideal place to put solar panels, away from properties. It would even be a good place for a Nuclear power station and least it would be a long way away from my back yard oops did i really say that. Seriously I drive past a field of solar panels everyday and cannot see anything wrong with that at all. so long as the properties dont overlook the panels put them where they want.

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    smokie

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • Once again the idiotic brain dead not in my back garden brigade strike again. Another nail in our future generations coffin is rammed home. Such a pathetic selfish bunch. We don' t want those things here they bleat, we would rather have more nuclear power. If a turbine or solar panel malfunctions, it's no big deal. If a nuclear power station malfunctions..... Idiots, they make my blood boil.

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    Lee Davies

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • I find the objection somewhat ironic. "Increased air temperature could kill the woodland" - isn't the hole in the ozone layer resulting in increased temperatures? So wouldn't the solar panels actually help to reduce the impact on the climate and thereby help reduce temperatures? Maybe I've got it all wrong and this climate change thing is just a hoax.....

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    be36

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • Why not build wind turbines you can still farm around them. They take up less space. Who cares if there is a chance to save the world OH I FORGOT NO ONE WANTS GREENER ENERGY. Just think of your great great grandchildren what sort of life will they live full of power stations emitting harmful toxins

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    rescue125

    Friday, May 2, 2014

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