Campaigners are cautiously celebrating this week after plans for three large-scale solar farms were pulled.

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Proposals for 57,000 solar panels on 73 acres of land at the gateway to the Norfolk Broads in Belaugh, near Hoveton, have been shelved along with separate schemes in Scottow and Saxthorpe.

The applicants, which all share the same London address, withdrew their applications and objectors were informed on Friday.

Norman Evans, chairman of Belaugh Parish Council, cautiously welcomed the development. He said: “The champagne is out of the freezer and in the ice bucket but we are not going to pop the cork just yet.

“The application has been withdrawn but it is possible the applicant may go away and redesign it and submit it again in a more acceptable form.”

Trafford Estate Solar Park wanted to install the panels on prime arable land off Belaugh Road. The proposed development site, which is within the boundaries of both North Norfolk and Broadland district councils, is the size of more than 36 football pitches and 300 metres north of the Broads Authority boundary.

The EDP was unable to contact the applicant before publication but Mr Evans said Broadland District Council had said in a letter that Trafford Solar Park had been advised to withdraw the proposals for Belaugh because there wasn’t enough information in the application. Saxthorpe Solar Farm has withdrawn plans for a 5.7MW solar farm on 34 acres of arable land at Strawberry Lane at Saxthorpe and Shaw Coltishall Solar Park has pulled its plans for a 12.74MW scheme on almost 70 acres of cropped farmland off Scottow Road, Scottow.

Saxthorpe and Corpusty parish councillor Tony Barnett said: “We are very pleased but cautious in the sense that we might expect similar schemes to be proposed in the future. This may well be the tip of the iceberg revealing a much bigger strategy by investors to target their plans on otherwise productive farmland when they should be going for roof tops.”

Steve Riley, who lives in Badersfield within Scottow parish, said: “It is excellent news for residents. Our view was that this was extremely unsuitable. There would have been high fencing, buildings and security cameras. It was literally turning agricultural green landscape in to industrial.”

Mr Riley said he understood the application had been withdrawn because it was missing key information.

He stressed residents weren’t against solar panels in the right place and said a petition calling for a solar farm to be built on the former Coltishall airfield containing 470 signatures had been delivered to Norfolk County Council, which owns the former airfield site.

21 comments

  • Kempster - Subsidy. Nuclear. According to Government figures, £6.93bn of taxpayers money was given to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in 2010-2011, which equates to £260 per household per year. This came out of the tax pot so does not appear on your energy bill. In addition the industry is seeking support. What level of support? My information is that in negotiations for Hinkley investors were seeking two ROCs. The same as offshore wind. I have no evidence to support the accuracy of this. However ROCs are to replaced by “Contracts for Difference” the announcement of this was accompanied by a massive increase in the support for low Carbon energy. Clearly to accommodate nuclear. Solar. For information on the contribution you make to renewables please see the Ofgem publication “Updated household energy bills explained” Factsheet 97 31.05.12. Space. Yes these things take up a lot of space. Much more than say a turbine. But this land is not sterilised. In fact it is easy to argue a benefit. About 30% of the land has a panel footprint and even then the frames are secured by small posts so don’t smother the land. The other 70% of the land is to allow for shading. The land is subject to a eco management plan signed off by the local authority. Currently intensive farming and over population is trashing plant insect and bird life in the countryside. Solar represents a valuable bio diversity opportunity for these depleted populations. A gain to the eco system that supports food production. Don’t take my word for it ask your landscape officer.

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    Barney

    Thursday, December 27, 2012

  • DocOhNo, you are right. These companies are extremely dodgy. Solar farms are almost completely useless for supplying power to the grid due to their variable and intermittent, and fading output, but they are heavily subsidised by the government and consumers, and that attracts a lot of get rich quick spivs. The object is to bleed it for all it's worth, then get out quick after a few years, and leave the local authority to clear up the mess.

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    Derek Colman

    Tuesday, December 25, 2012

  • Let's be honest and say these people are happy because they just don't want it near them, full stop. Let's not pretend it's for other reasons like the agricultural value of the land. Local people don't give a damn about that. None of you people putting your two pence in about the efficiency of solar power or other forms of renewable energy which might harm your precious landscape have a clue what you are talking about. Barney your comments are refreshingly accurate.

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    Eye of Providence

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012

  • Windless - With regard to your contention that there are dodgy companies involved. This is a groundless slur backed up by nothing. A gentle man would withdraw this comment or back it it up. Tell me what is the scam?

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    Barney

    Thursday, December 27, 2012

  • At last some common sense. Thank you Barney for knowing your stuff. Let's be clear - renewable energy is a huge growing force and it will not stop, much as housing does not stop because a few local people think it might cause them a slight bother. Your opinions on climate change amount to absolutely nothing - whether you believe or not is irrelevant. We have never endured 250 years of industrialised living before - why take the chance? Why would any sane person do that? Let's move with the times, get on with what's right and stop pandering and procrastinating about the detail.

    Report this comment

    Eye of Providence

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • "These companies are extremely dodgy". - What companies are these? Maybe you are referring to SolarCentury the "Queen's Award for Enterprise 2011" winner? What is the evidence for this slur on this company? These installations are not "almost completely useless" - That's a sweeping statement. I assume you have some form of specialist knowledge or qualification that enables you to make this comment with authority? "The object is to bleed it for all it's worth" - The yield is actually quite modest but reliable. Attractive to funds such as pension funds. Maybe even your pension fund. "leave the local authority to clear up the mess" - There is no mess or liability for the local authority. "heavily subsidised by the government" - Not as heavily subsidised as nuclear but more so than carbon creating coal and gas (and a lot less than offshore wind and domestic solar). You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. This kind of ignorant miss information helps no one whether you are in favour of UK renewables or foreign gas and nuclear.

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    Barney

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012

  • Before any more name calling and other general unpleasantness, let's look at some facts. Consider the 70 acres at Shaw Coltishall, supposedly a 12.74Mw scheme. Firstly, 12.74Mw it most definitely is not, if you consider a 24 hr day. Even if you don't it will only ever generate that in the most perfect of conditions. In the UK, averaged over the year it is dark 12hrs per day, so, 12.72 becomes 6.36Mw. But, as already said, that's in perfect conditions, rare, even in this nice part of the world. So, being kind, allow a factor of 75% to allow for dull days, cloud cover, fog etc, we're now down to 4.77Mw, averaged over the year 247. Hardly jaw dropping is it! Averaged over the 70 acres, it works out at 68Kw per acre! As the land was described, hopefully accurately, as "cropped", this taken as meaning it grew a crop this year, the average crop of wheat in E Anglia is circa 2.8Tonnes per acre, even in this poor year (Farmers Weekly website figures), over 70 acres that's 196Tonnes of food that wouldn't be grown if this had gone ahead. I reckon we have far more need of 196Tonnes of food than we need a tiny amount of electricity! And, Mr Colman is right there are, indeed, some very dodgy companies trying to pocket this (your) cash!

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    Windless

    Thursday, December 27, 2012

  • A parish council drinking champagne? Nice to see the money is spent wisely.

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Monday, December 24, 2012

  • Hopefully the last of this cr*p for 2012. If the words Green, Renewable, Solar or, especially the prime idiocy, Onshore, Wind turbines, are in any statement then the greatest suspicion should be used in all cases. All are financial scams, all of these things rely on subsidies for their very existence, none of them are of any practical use to anyone, all rely on other generation systems to back them up when, dark, not windy, tide wrong, all manner of excuses. the only reason ANY exist is the sheer financial greed from those proposing them to take money from them from those paying for them, you, me and all other utility bill payers.

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    windup

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • They only need to move their plans a few miles to the west. If the developers can find suitable sites in Breckland rest assured they will be passed without question.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • Barney, Windless and windup are one and the same. I believe she buys her opinions each morning in the form of the Daily Mail and a quote from an earlier thread is: "The reason the vast majority of people hate wind turbines is because they are so ugly and dominate the landscape. So, those of us who actually understand the physics always oppose them on those grounds and the fact that they do little or nothing towards the generation of electricity." Her greatest contribution to 21st century science is to repeat, ad nauseum that 'wind turbines don't work when there's no wind'. Best ignored.

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    Thoreauwasright

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

  • Windless - With regard to your contention that there are dodgy companies involved. This is a groundless slur backed up by nothing. A gentle man would withdraw this comment or back it it up. Tell me what is the scam?

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    Barney

    Thursday, December 27, 2012

  • In Belaugh it seems they like their champagne frozen?

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    Chris Booty

    Tuesday, December 25, 2012

  • "These companies are extremely dodgy". - What companies are these? Maybe you are referring to SolarCentury the "Queen's Award for Enterprise 2011" winner? What is the evidence for this slur on this company? These installations are not "almost completely useless" - That's a sweeping statement. I assume you have some form of specialist knowledge or qualification that enables you to make this comment with authority? "The object is to bleed it for all it's worth" - The yield is actually quite modest but reliable. Attractive to funds such as pension funds. Maybe even your pension fund. "leave the local authority to clear up the mess" - There is no mess or liability for the local authority. "heavily subsidised by the government" - Not as heavily subsidised as nuclear but more so than carbon creating coal and gas (and a lot less than offshore wind and domestic solar). You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. This kind of ignorant miss information helps no one whether you are in favour of UK renewables or foreign gas and nuclear.

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    Barney

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012

  • Windless - I don't really understand what your 68Kw per acre means or what precisely you are trying to say with this figure. I think your general point is that solar is not a good use of land. Your data and suppositions are not really based on anything. If you want to make an argument for public scrutiny I think you have a responsibility toward accuracy. The following is broadly accurate. As to the point of whether solar is a good use of land - I think you have made up your mind and no data will convince you otherwise. You will get 12.74MW of installed capacity on 70 acres. There are various sources of historical data you can use to estimate the performance of the site. These is based on measurements going back years taken from ground stations and satellites. The total kWh for every 1kW of installed capacity over a year in Coltishall is 969kWh. So this times your 12.74 gives you 12300MWh per year (174MWh per year per acre). The average UK domestic property consumes 4,629kWh per year. So this means that this site will supply all the electricity needs for 2657 average UK homes. Just to be clear during the day it will do more than 2657 houses and at night less.

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    Barney

    Thursday, December 27, 2012

  • Kempster - I calculate from bankable data that the site at Coltishall is capable of supplying all the energy needs for 37.5 average domestic houses per acre. You will get 10-12 estate house plots per acre. So your case that the facility will take up more space than the houses it supplies can not be born out by the data.

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    Barney

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • At last some common sense. Thank you Barney for knowing your stuff. Let's be clear - renewable energy is a huge growing force and it will not stop, much as housing does not stop because a few local people think it might cause them a slight bother. Your opinions on climate change amount to absolutely nothing - whether you believe or not is irrelevant. We have never endured 250 years of industrialised living before - why take the chance? Why would any sane person do that? Let's move with the times, get on with what's right and stop pandering and procrastinating about the detail.

    Report this comment

    Eye of Providence

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • Hello windup - for the actual data on subsidy and it's impact on yourself please consult the Ofgem publication “Updated household energy bills explained” Factsheet 97 31.05.12. I suspect it's not as costly as you have been led to believe. In addition the subsidy has been put in place with good reason and due consideration. It may be that you don't see climate change as a problem, or indeed energy security as a risk. The people who make policy do. Developers are working within the policy framework which is designed to enable a return on investment (and it is a modest one) through the creation of a low carbon energy industry from nothing. It is early days. If indeed getting a return on investment constitutes greed then I think it is fair to level that accusation but it's the way of the world. If you see government intervention to stimulate industry as being theft then you need to address this with the policy makers not the developers. Please read the factsheet though. I fear it is ignorance that is causing distress rather than the projects.

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    Barney

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • I see "the applicants shared the same address". Does this indicate they're dodgy? Must remember to point this out to the wife.

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    DocOhNo

    Monday, December 24, 2012

  • Great decision, lets get fracking! :-)

    Report this comment

    Somethingood

    Tuesday, December 25, 2012

  • Barney - "Not as heavily subsidised as nuclear"!! Is that as a sum total or as a £W produced? The former I bet. 73 acres of panels to produce electricity for less than 73 acres of houses. Now that is barney...sorry..barmy.

    Report this comment

    Kempster

    Thursday, December 27, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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