Land belonging to a Suffolk MP’s family could be turned into a massive solar farm.

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Proposals submitted to Waveney District Council include details for a 24.6- hectare solar park to be built on farmland to the north east of Chediston, near Halesworth.

Approval of Solarcentury’s plans, which have attracted mixed reactions from neighbouring properties, would see the construction of rows of solar panels capable of generating 12.3MW of power.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous, whose family owns the site adjoining Bonners Farm, confirmed that Solarcentury had approached them to inquire if the land could be leased to them for the purpose of cultivating renewable energy.

He added: “We as a family had to make a decision about whether we went along with it. We decided it was appropriate to do so.”

Mr Aldous said an “option agreement” had been signed, meaning Solarcentury will pay for the application and if successful take out a lease of up to 25 years on the land.

According to documents, for the so-called Chediston Hall Solar Park, scores of solar panels will be mounted on “tables” with a front height of 60cm and a back height of up to 220cm and run in a linear pattern across fields.

Hedgerows would be planted and grass and wild flowers allowed to grow, to be mowed back twice a year to protect the panels.

The document states: “The proposed solar park is intended to have limited visual impact, as the existing and enhanced boundary planting will effectively hide the development from view. It will therefore have a minimal impact on the wider countryside and landscape in the area.”

The plans reveal that construction of the solar park would entail 384 movements on the site by lorries over about six weeks of the building process.

In consultations, one neighbour had voiced concern that views of the countryside would be removed and it could be “detrimental” to the value of the property.

Joanna Wareham of Herne Hill Farm, who owns fields immediately south of the site, said she was “wholly in favour of renewable energy” but would like to see 23 hedge trees safeguarded. Mr Aldous said the “option agreement” meant he was unable to discuss the planning application.

6 comments

  • Personally a much more preferred option than wind turbines, I hope wildlife can thrive among the panels, wildflowers insects and birds sadly are a rarity in our local countryside due to the obsession and sadly the necessity of food production for out grossly overpopulated countryplanet.

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    BlueRobin

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • I expect Mr. Aldous is vehemently opposed to Sizewell's expansion, why else would he be interested to feed on subsidies. Using good class 2 farmland for this purpose is lunacy.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Solar farms are infinitely more both acceptable and efficient than the hated wind turbines. That is a matter of fact, agreed with by 85% of us. They are NOT however acceptable when placed on any land suitable for food production. The same applies to the planned 3520 houses on good arable land at Sprowston. Arable land is for growing food, not electricity or housing.

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    Windless

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Daisy Roots: 25 Ha is not that large an area? How big is your garden for goodness sake? It is a very large piece of valuable land that can be used for food production. People moan about wind turbines but at least they don't totally destroy the surrounding area by making it unusable, small foot print in the grand scheme of things, and sensible placed do have their uses, despite what the antis say.

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    Mr T

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

  • Not sure of the efficiency of these solar farms and the subsidy situation, but if the panels are sensibly placed didnt it ought to be possible to graze sheep amongst them? Dual use, low profile, low maintenance some wildlife benefit and no noise-seems a lot more sensible than off shore wind farms. I was going to suggest running free range hens amongst them then common sense got the better of me-perching hens would not make for clean solar panels. 25 Ha is not that large an area.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, November 19, 2012

  • Mr Aldous is all in favour of windfarms,he'd put one in his garden if he thought there was a few quid in it for him.Then again so would Bobby.

    Report this comment

    kevin bacon

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

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

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