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Locals Object To Planned Solar Farm

There has been much written about the government’s most recent views on solar panel farms being constructed in our countryside such as how greater notice should be taken of the local community’s opinion. We have also had the announcement by the Solar Trade Association (STA) of their “10 commitments” for solar farms.

Will it be more difficult to obtain planning approval for solar farms like this one?
(image credit: mcmees24)

Therefore, it will be interesting to see how council planning officers respond to the government’s recent guidance. Will we see a significant change in the number of solar farms obtaining planning approval?

Apparently, some local residents are expressing their concerns at a proposed solar farm development in Norfolk. The solar farm, if planning approval were granted, would be situated at Field Barn Farm and Hall Farm in Bridgham that is situated a few miles to the north east of Thetford.

Bridgham only has a population of around 330 residents but some have reservations about the proposed solar farm that will comprise of 144,288 solar panels that will be sited on 174 acres of land. Residents are concerned as they believe that the solar panels will be erected on land that is situated next to homes in the village. One resident claims that as many as 96% of villagers had raised an objection to the planned development claiming that it would be an eyesore.

Rethink Energy, that have submitted the planning application, would appear to have a different point of view. Apparently, they feel that the solar farm will not have any impact on homes in the locality as hedges would camouflage the development. They also believe that there would be no waste or noise. The energy produced would, in the main, be used to provide electricity to Bridgham and Thetford. The solar farm will be capable of providing electricity to about 10,000 houses and businesses.

The company will also install the solar panels high enough off the ground to enable sheep to graze below them. Stone-curlews, that are considered to be rare birds, will be enticed to nest as it is intended to re-create heathland.

It will be interesting to hear Breckland District Council’s decision when it considers the solar farm scheme next month.

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