Baylham: Residents get chance to examine revised plans for 50-acre solar farm

Proposals for a solar farm in Baylham have faced criticism

Proposals for a solar farm in Baylham have faced criticism - Credit: Archant

Revised plans for a multi-million- pound solar farm have been put forward after they were withdrawn earlier this year.

Dozens of residents visited a meeting in Baylham Village Hall where information was given about the proposed 50-acre development.

In May, the companies behind the £12million plans, Hive Energy Ltd and Eco Energy World, withdrew an application for planning permission, to allow site surveys to take place.

Baylham Parish Meeting opposed the proposals for the village near Needham Market, and criticised them for their potential visual effect, earlier this year.

Residents have now complained of the “short notice” given ahead of the meeting, intended to explain the revised plans.

Chairman of the parish meeting, John Field, claimed people only found out about the meeting when the hall was booked out by the organisers.

He said: “It was only a couple of days before it happened that we found out, which is not very good because we are meant to be having a public consultation.

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“They have moved some way to accommodate the views – in particular over the fencing which is now less of a problem than it was.

“People tend to be for renewable power but it would be easy to say ‘not in my back yard’ - but it’s not like that. There could be substantial impact on the environment – there’s a lot of listed buildings in the village. An awful lot of this is predominately visible from the village.”

He added it was important for residents to have their say and be able to talk directly to the companies involved.

Julian Pertwee, business development director for Hive Energy, said about 60 residents attended the meeting who had been informed through notices and emails.

He said the revised proposals were produced following feedback on how to improve the site’s visual impact.

He added the site had the potential to act as a “beautiful nature reserve” which would improve bird and insect life.

“The whole of the meeting is to introduce the plans before the application is in for full consultation,” he said.

“It would be a temporary development, as it would have a 25-year planning permission.”

Mid Suffolk District Council should be receiving the revised plans in the coming weeks.