Village votes overwhelmingly against bid for Norfolk’s largest solar farm on edge of Bridgham

Farmland near Bridgham, Norfolk, which could become a solar farm.

Farmland near Bridgham, Norfolk, which could become a solar farm. - Credit: Archant

A village has voted overwhelmingly against proposals to build Norfolk's largest solar farm on its doorstep.

Green energy firm ReThink Energy has put in a planning application to Breckland Council to build a solar farm with 144,288 panels on a 70-hectare site on the edge of Bridgham.

It would provide power for 10,000 homes in Thetford.

But at a parish council meeting on Tuesday night, a petition was presented with 93pc of respondents in Bridgham opposing the plans.

Bridgham Parish councillors will now object to Breckland Council and write to the planning committee, which will make the decision.

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Parish council chairman Mark Dickenson said: 'There were three people in favour of it with more than 100 against. The visual impact is the biggest concern.

'There will also be miles of cabling to Thetford and we are concerned about the disruption caused.

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'It is the wrong use of agricultural land. Why can't they use an old airfield or industrial buildings or roofs of buildings?'

The solar panels will be raised off the ground up to three metres, which will allow sheep to graze.

The planning application also states that trees and hedgerows would be grown to hide the farm.

But parish councillor Jeanette Hines said the solar farm would be far too intrusive.

'Our worry is the future of the village,' she said.

If given the go-ahead, the solar farm could be in place by early 2014.

It would last for 25 years and have an output of 30 megawatts.

The planning application states that a consultation has been carried out with the village.

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