An energy scheme to build a large solar farm in north Suffolk was thrown out by councillors tonight after fears were raised the project would ruin the look of the picturesque river valley landscape.

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The plan by Lark Energy to install 101,640 photovoltaic panels to generate up to 30MW of power at land at Ellough, near Beccles, was rejected by Waveney District Council’s development control committee.

The pals was being discussed again after the committee had previously asked Lark Energy if it would scale back the solar farm near Ellough Airfield by about 50pc so it would not impact on the look of the area which is on the Hundred River Valley.

Lark Energy did not agree with that request, but did say it would reduce the height of the panels by 1m down to 2m and plant more hedging to screen the scheme.

Despite planning officers recommending the plans be approved, the committee voted against it on the grounds on the “adverse impact” it would have on the landscape.

A water company has been given the green light tonight to build a customer contact centre in Lowestoft which could create more than 70 jobs.

Essex and Suffolk Water, which provides water for the Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth areas, was granted permission by Waveney District Council’s development control committee to build the centre at land off Waveney Drive.

The company’s current contact centre is in Lowestoft’s Rectory Road based in a former convent.

It has 172 staff working there and the move could see numbers of people employed by Essex and Suffolk Water rise to 250 at the new centre, which will be constructed on land close to Lake Lothing which had been earmarked for the ill-fated £53m Waveney Campus Project.

Essex and Suffolk Water says the two storey building is necessary as its current base is cramped and no longer considered conducive for an efficient and modern customer centre.

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