December 6 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 16, 2013
A resident’s group has said it will not let up in its campaign against plans for a 174 acre solar farm near its village.
Breckland Council has now received more than 80 letters of objection from Bridgham residents against plans entered by Rethink Energy for an installation on land at Hall Farm and Field Barn Farm.
A public meeting on Friday updated residents on how their campaign was progressing.
The developers say the farm would hold more than 144,000 solar panels and provide energy for 10,000 homes in Thetford.
But the residents refute the latter claim, with UK Power Networks stating that energy generation in Norfolk already exceeds local demand and that excess power is passed to major urban areas, such as London.
Mark Dickenson, chairman of Bridgham Parish Council, told the meeting a decision on the plans was expected to be made at Breckland’s Planning Committee meeting on September 30.
He added that the council had told him that the plans would be recommended for refusal.
“The officers decision is to recommend refusal so that’s got to be good news. To overturn the decision the members will have to have a sound reason,” he said.
John Besent, resident, said he had researched existing solar sites and that the development proposed for Bridgham would be one of the biggest in the country.
“There seems to be a precedent here and if the planning permission were to be given it would be contrary to what has gone before,” he said.
Fears were raised over the route of cabling from the site to the grid in Thetford.
A map in plans presented by Rethink to the council show the cabling snaking through the villages of Shadwell, Rushford, Euston and Barnham for nearly 10 miles before it reaches the grid towards the south side of Thetford.