Solar farm protest march led by MPs Matt Hancock and Lucy Frazer

Say No to Sunnica march

Matt Hancock and Lucy Frazer led the march from Mildenhall to the site of part of the proposed solar farm. - Credit: Autumn Scott

Hundreds of protesters angry about proposals to build Britain's largest solar power farm on the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border have marched to show their opposition to the project.

Sunnica wants to turn 2,500 acres of farmland near Mildenhall into a huge solar plant to add to the country's green energy programme.

But local residents say its appearance will be a blight on the area - and it will lead to the loss of valuable agricultural land used to grow vegetables for UK consumption.

The "Say No to Sunnica" group has been formed to fight the proposals - with the support of local MPs Matt Hancock and Lucy Frazer - and the proposals have also been opposed by councils in both Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock spoke to protesters at the march. - Credit: Lucinda Wright

On Sunday about 200 people marched from Mildenhall to the site of part of the proposed solar farm - led by Mr Hancock and Ms Frazer.

Nick Wright is a local farmer who turned down an offer to buy some of his land for the solar farm and is now a leading member of Say No to Sunnica.

He said: "This proposal would be very bad news for the area. It would take up prime agricultural land - we only grow 64% of the food we need and 55% of the vegetables. This is prime land for vegetables, grown under rotation, and we cannot afford to lose it.

"If you look at the shape of the solar farm on the map, it is a very strange shape - that is because they are the only local farmers who would sell them the land."

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He said local people were almost unanimous in their opposition to the proposal: "I haven't met anyone who is in favour of it! It's not that we are all climate change deniers or anything like that - it's just this is the wrong proposal on the wrong site."

Sunnica march

The march through Mildenhall opposing Sunnica's solar farm plans. - Credit: Lucinda Wright

Mr Wright said many questioned whether it was a "green" solution because it might cause more carbon to be used than it saved.

The decision on whether to allow the farm to go ahead will be made by the government because it is seen as a strategic project.

Sunnica has said the scheme would generate more than 50Gw of electricity and contribute to Britain's aspiration to become a net zero energy economy in future years.