A green energy firm’s pioneering offer to pay residents close to a proposed solar farm site £1,000 each has been described as “desperation”.

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REthink energy has written to 200 households in Bridgham offering them £200 a year if its plans for a 174 acre solar farm, which it will enter later this year, are approved by Breckland Council.

The offer comes after the London-based firm withdrew prior plans for the facility in September following widespread objections from residents.

The scheme, which REthink have branded the Local Electricity Discount Scheme, will see residents receive a five year discount on their electricty bills. REthink claim it is the first of its kind in the country.

But Mike Brown, Bridgham resident and campaigner against the solar farm, said the offer had not impressed villagers.

“I got a whiff of this before Christmas and at the time credited them with more intelligence than to openly acknowledge the fact they had lost the moral, landscape, environmental and business case arguments by resorting to financial inducement.

“Having withdrawn their application last year for, presumably, the aforementioned reasons, this merely demonstrates the desperation of it all,” he said.

Mr Brown added that a number of residents had written to him since the offer was made.

“Without exception they have been offended by this ‘trinket and bead’ approach either because they feel REthink have a cheek suggesting that their personal values are negotiable with money or just simply that REthink have insulted their intelligence by suggesting that despite the overwhelming reasons why this development is inappropriate by splashing a few pounds around it will all be okay,” he said.

Pete Grogan, founder of REthink, said the scheme would help residents.

“It is a real first for a local solar energy project in the UK and demonstrates our support for the Government’s position that renewable energy developments should benefit local communities,” he said.

What do you think of REthink’s offer? Let us know by emailing reporter Andrew Fitchett on andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

4 comments

  • Then hopefully these idiotic plans will not be passed by Breckland. There is quite enough Green Lunacy already here, the last thing we need is any more.

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    Windless

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • If they get anything, they're doing better than anyone in Reydon, where an offer of cheap energy induced the Parish Council to vote in favour of the Quay Lane solar abomination (in an AONB). Since the councillors made that mistake, I don't know of anyone who's heard any more about the offer. An absolute con.

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • Climate and weather chaos all over the world and Bridgham NIMBY residents don't want renewable energy?Perhaps they should be a little less selfish.

    Report this comment

    mark319

    Friday, February 14, 2014

  • I'll try again, my previous comment disappeared! Hopefully this absurd plan will be rejected by Breckland Council. There has to be an end to this Green lunacy, we all know that the ONLY reason to build these things is to milk the subsidies.

    Report this comment

    Windless

    Friday, February 14, 2014

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