New solar farm bid for site on edge of North Walsham

ENVIRONMENT-Solar-145469

- Credit: PA

A planning application has been submitted for a solar farm on the edge of North Walsham.

If approved, the development would cover about 30 acres of land belonging to Wayside Farm, off Skeyton Road and behind the water towers on Norwich Road.

It would generate about 4,500 MWh in its 25-year life span, which applicants Yingli Green Energy claim would be enough to power 1,364 UK homes.

The site, which is about a tenth of Wayside Farm, is currently farmland.

Documents supporting the application to North Norfolk District Council say the tallest height of the panels would be 2.2m.

The solar farm would be visible from two public rights of way, a footpath and a bridleway.

It would also have a 'slight to moderate' effect on homes in Fairstead Close, Wells Avenue and Skeyton Road.

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But the applicants say allowing existing hedgerows to grow taller, infilling gaps and planting native trees and fast-climbing honeysuckle would provide significant extra screening.

The nearest existing solar farm is at Carlton Farm, off the A149 bypass in North Walsham.

Two further applications are awaiting planning councillors' decisions – at Bunn's Hill, between Worstead and North Walsham, and Frog's Loke which is beside the Bunn's Hill site.

The applicants claim the siting of the other farms would produce 'no cumulative landscape or visual effects' if their application was approved.

Construction would take about two months, using a gated track off Skeyton Road for access, with an estimated three HGV deliveries a day.

The land would be seeded with wildflowers, beehives would be placed on the site, together with bird boxes in surrounding trees.

Clay and reed insect nests would also be provided, plus a hedgehog house.

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