Controversial proposals to build a new solar farm on fields near Ipswich are set to be discussed by councillors later this month - but planning officials are recommending it should be allowed.

The proposal would see solar panels installed on 35 acres of agricultural land between Bramford, Burstall, Flowton and Somersham despite opposition from local residents.

The site straddles two districts - Babergh and Mid Suffolk - so it will have to be discussed by both councils' planning committees.

But they share a common administration and their officers are recommending Babergh to approve the application, with conditions.

The proposal is for one of three solar farms proposed for the area that would put power into the National Grid through the Bramford sub-station nearby.

East Anglian Daily Times: There is local opposition to the Enso proposal. Picture: Paul GeaterThere is local opposition to the Enso proposal. Picture: Paul Geater (Image: Archant)

It is proposed by energy company Enso - and is technically a temporary application for the operation of the solar farm for a maximum of 40 years.

Three quarters of the land is classified as BMV (Best/Most Valuable) agricultural land - but the report by officers says because it would not be substantially damaged the solar farm would not be unacceptable.

The solar panels would be on top of poles driven straight into the land so it would be possible for grazing animals like sheep to use the land as well.

The power output of the solar panels would be about 30mw - enough to power about 15,000 homes a year - and the application includes a site to store batteries for 50mw of power in 20 shipping containers.

Samantha Main is chair of CARE Suffolk which is campaigning against plans for the new Solar Farm - she said the group is concerned at the loss of valuable agricultural land and the impact on the countryside.

She said: "There are big new industrial plants going up in the area. None of them have solar panels on their roof. That would be far better than using high quality agricultural land."