Large solar farm could be built just above Halesworth


Land around Wissett could be turned into a solar farm - Credit: Google Maps

A solar farm nearly 90 hectares in size could be built just north of Halesworth, though the developer says it would be absorbed easily into the environment.

The proposed site is predominantly greenfield, agricultural land covering an area of approximately 87.5 hectares just north of Gray’s Lane, Wissett.

The site would latest in a long line of similar projects in East Suffolk and close to Chediston Solar Farm.

Forest Heath District Council has bought Toggam Farm solar farm, in Lakenheath.

Solar panels at Toggam Farm solar farm, in Lakenheath, are of a similar size to the ones proposed - Credit: Gregg Brown

Photovoltaic panels would be built in rows and would be ground-mounted, they would not be expected to exceed 3m in height.

They could exist in the location for up to 40 years.

The site would also include a 10MW battery energy storage system, comprising approximately 10 containers.

A new deer fence would have to be installed, but access will be via existing farm gates and there would be the opportunity to graze sheep on the land.

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Pathfinder Clean Energy (PACE) submitted an environmental impact assessment opinion last year which was undertaken by East Suffolk Council.

PACE believes the proposal will be absorbed easily into the natural environment due to its limited height, however, the council said a full landscape and visual impact assessment would be needed.

It mentioned that solar panels are very different from an agricultural field, so the solar farm is likely to be visible.

Lisa Chandler, energy projects manager at East Suffolk Council said the development will have a significant effect on the environment.

She said: "This is by virtue of the development having limited localised impacts, minimal impacts in relation to transport, and no identified cumulative impacts with other energy or other related projects in East Suffolk.

"Therefore, an environmental statement is not required."

Historic England also detailed nearby locations which may potentially be directly and/or indirectly impacted.

These included the World War Two bombing decoy site RAF Rumburgh, the Bronze Age Wissett Hoards, a listed building and conservation area. 

The Wissett Hoards were found in farmland close to the village and draws archeological interest.

To find out more search 'DC/21/4643/EIA'.

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