Work to create a new solar farm on fields near Bramford, not far from Ipswich, is expected to start next year after a planning inspector gave it the green light.

The new proposed solar farm, which its promoters say would generate enough electricity to power nearly 7,500 homes, uses fields in Bramford, Burstall and Flowton and is split between Babergh and Mid Suffolk districts.

Earlier this year councillors in Babergh gave planning permission for the proposal in its area - the largest part of the proposal - but their Mid Suffolk colleagues rejected the application for the 33 out of 85 hectares in its area.

The company behind the proposal, Enso Energy, appealed the decision - and following a change in political control, Mid Suffolk decided not to contest the appeal.

Enso Energy did not respond to our request for information, but their website says they intend to install the panels next summer.

The application has been controversial from the start and a new organisation CARE Suffolk was set up to oppose the plans which they warned would damage valuable agricultural land.

The permission is temporary - for up to 40 years and Enso Energy says it will not cause long-term damage to the land because the panels will be on spikes in the ground.

The fields will also be home to a herd of sheep grazing the grass underneath them so the agricultural used will not be completely lost.

Mid Suffolk council leader Andy Mellen spoke of his frustration at the lack of government clarity about solar farm applications at the Local Government Association earlier this year.

East Anglian Daily Times: Mid Suffolk council leader Andy Mellen.Mid Suffolk council leader Andy Mellen. (Image: Charlotte Bond)

He said: "What we are currently lacking is a coherent national policy, a strategic joined up plan for energy development and food production.

“We cannot piece this together at the local level. When we do make decisions that are acceptable to our communities, it can cost us money when we subsequently lose an appeal.”

However the decision not to fight the appeal did not please Burstall Parish Council Chairman Barry Gasper. he said: “The District Council has abandoned residents. We are now left having to defend the policies of the Councils ourselves."