Plan for giant 40,000-panel sunfarm at Northrepps, near Cromer

A firm is consulting the public over plans for a huge sunfarm that is proposed to be more than twice the size of a similar facility on the edge of North Walsham.

Lumicity has drawn up plans to site 40,000 solar panels on 64 acres of farmland at Northrepps, two miles south of Cromer.

It would dwarf the sunfarm next to the Bittern Line railway near North Walsham, which has 18,000 panels.

Pegasus Planning Group, which is acting for Lumicity, has written to residents and councils in the area to ask for their views about the proposed energy facility, which would be located behind North Norfolk Business Centre, which is on the A140 at Crossdale Street.

In a letter, Colin Virtue from Pegasus, said: 'This will ensure a constant and affordable source of energy, contribute to economic stability and provide a further form of diversification to support rural economies.'

He added that the panels would be no more than 2.5m above the ground, at 25 degrees from horizontal.

And he said: 'It is anticipated that the application proposal will have the potential to generate up to 9.9MW of power annually. This equates to the annual energy consumption of 2,508 homes.'

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The plans are set to be discussed by Northrepps Parish Council at its next meeting on August 7.

Mr Virtue said the site had been chosen because of a 'number of factors', including the 'benefit of high annual sun hours' and its proximity to a primary substation and existing power lines.

He said: There is no glare from the panels because they absorb the sunlight. Therefore, they will appear as an innocuous black image in the landscape.

'Grass can still be grown within the site and also sheep may be allowed to graze between the rows, thus a farming activity can co-exist with the solar element.'

He said the panels would operate for 25 years, and added that there would be 'no noise or emissions'.

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