Solar panel farm at RAF Neatishead gets the nod

A former Cold War radar station in North Norfolk is set for new life after a green energy scheme was given the go-ahead.

North Norfolk District Council's development committee passed the scheme, which will see a linked collection of solar panels - a photovoltaic array - set up at RAF Neatishead, near Wroxham.

Applicant PV Farms was in a race against time to get permission before government incentives for renewable energy were withdrawn.

The solar farm will cover 3.5ha of the site, but will avoid the areas containing protected buildings and scheduled monuments, including the historic radar and the bungalow above a warren of underground control rooms.

Today, councillors heard that English Heritage and a local resident had withdrawn their objections after the scheme was reduced in size from 5mw to 1.5mw of electricity.

Liberal Democrat councillor Simon Partridge said it was 'an excellent use of the site'.

And local member Barbara McGoun said: 'It has worried me that this site hasn't been taken up. If it isn't used it will fall into disrepair. That would be disastrous.'

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RAF Neatishead, which opened in 1941, played a key role in monitoring Britain's skies until it was de-commissioned in 2004. It is the site of the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum.