Tattingstone: Archaeological study will delay solar farm proposal

Aerial shot of the proposed solar farm area in Tattingstone.

Aerial shot of the proposed solar farm area in Tattingstone. - Credit: Archant

A decision on whether one of the UK’s biggest solar farms can be built in the Suffolk countryside has been delayed until an archaeological investigation has been carried out.

Planning officers were yesterday due to discuss the controversial proposal for a solar park on 94 acres of farmland at Tattingstone, which would use about 43,000 panels to generate enough power to supply 5,500 homes.

But Babergh’s planning committee voted to defer the discussion on the advice of the council’s solicitor to allow for an archaeological assessment.

Alton councillor David Wood said while Shotley Peninsula was rich in archaeological areas, there were more compelling reasons for delaying the application. He added: “Many people have turned up here today expecting this to be debated and are ready and willing to put their case. But the deferral will give those who are involved a chance to be re-consulted.”

The campaign to stop the development has attracted national attention and support from actor and comedian Griff Rhys Jones.

After yesterday’s meeting, Lloyd Butler, who has started a website against the development said: “We are all for solar energy but it has to be in its rightful place. It is ironic that Babergh won’t let me put solar panels on my roof – even at my own expense – but will consider allowing good farmland to be destroyed and the countryside to be defaced by a solar farm.”

Applicant, Hive Energy, said the proposed site is not environmentally sensitive and the benefits of the scheme outweigh concerns about the landscape.