Backing for Northrepps solar farm which could power Cromer

A planned major sun farm on the outskirts of Cromer that would power the town during the day has been backed by local councillors.

The project, behind the Cromer Business Park on the A140 at Northrepps, would have 44,760 solar panels covering a third of 26 hectare (64 acre) farmland site.

Developers Lumicity say the farm would provide enough annual electricity for 2,500 homes on a site chosen because of its lack of impact on the countryside and because it was close to power lines.

Landowner Michael Gurney told Northrepps Parish Council the pasture land would continue to be grazed, but by sheep rather than cattle, wandering among the 2.5m-tall panels mounted on frames.

The project had a life of 25 years and it was planned to reinstate the area to farmland afterwards.

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Output would be 'enough to feed most of Cromer during the day', he said, and it would not affect anyone because nobody would be able to see it.

'There will be no noise like you get with wind turbines and no impact on the local community,' he explained.

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The scheme – which is 1.5 times the size of one near North Walsham – was also a way of diversifying the family farm to create new income.

Parish council clerk Janet Warner reported there had been just one objection so far – by email from a woman in Stoke Holy Cross, south of Norwich, who said she was a 'concerned resident of Norfolk' having read press reports about the scheme and was worried about the panelling on a large area of countryside creating 'seas of plastic.'

Councillors voted unanimously to raise no objection to the project.

- See the links at the top-right of this page to read previous stories about a similar solar farm near North Walsham.

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