Solar farm firm set to unveil Coltishall vision

The RAF Coltishall site. Picture; MIKE PAGE

The RAF Coltishall site. Picture; MIKE PAGE - Credit: Archant

The company which wants to build a massive solar farm on the former RAF Coltishall base has revealed its identity, as it gets ready to go public with its proposals.

Norfolk County Council announced in May that it was in discussions with renewable energy developer which hoped to secure a 25-year lease at the base to run a large scale commercial solar farm.

At that time, the council would not reveal which company hoped to take on the lease at the base, which the council bought for £4m last year.

However, bosses at Norwich-based Red Triangle Energy, have announced they are the company which wants to create the solar farm. They say it would generate energy for up to 15,000 homes.

They say the proposed solar farm would be built on about 250 acres of grassland, between the former runways and would operate for 25 years.

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Richard Atkins, managing director of Red Triangle Energy, which was incorporated in 2012, said: 'The flat grassed areas between the runways make the site ideal for a solar farm. It will be well-screened by trees and buildings and located a good distance away from local housing.

'Whilst Norfolk County Council wishes to see the scheme built, it does require planning consent from North Norfolk District Council and Broadland District Council.

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'We will submit our application for a scheme of between 40 and 50MW capacity to both councils once we have fully considered the views of local people and completed our technical and environmental studies.'

Mr Atkins said no buildings at the airfield would have to be removed and, once the 25 years were up, the land would revert to its original state or permission to extend its operation would be sought.

Next week, Red Triangle will host an exhibition to outline its solar farm proposal to people living in the village and the wider community.

The exhibition will be held in the Battle of Britain Memorial Hall on Lamas Road in Badersfield from 3pm until 7.30pm on Friday, September 12 and from 9.30am until 1pm on Saturday, September 13.

Tim Edmunds, Coltishall Project Sponsor at Norfolk County Council, said: 'If it goes ahead, the solar farm will generate welcome revenue income for the county council over many years.

'The deal has not yet been completed, but we are moving forward and the planned public exhibitions are a helpful step in the right direction.'

The county council bought 600 acres of the Battle of Britain base from the Ministry of Justice in January last year.

That was criticised because the decision was taken by the authority's cabinet, without public consultation and without a business plan.

• What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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