Work begins on one of Britain’s biggest solar farms at the former RAF Coltishall

Aerial view of Coltishall Solar power site. Picture: Mike Page

Aerial view of Coltishall Solar power site. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

Work to build one of Britain's biggest solar farms has begun at the former RAF Coltishall site in north Norfolk.

Aerial view of Coltishall Solar power site. Picture: Mike Page

Aerial view of Coltishall Solar power site. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

The first stage of construction at the 300-acre site is due to finish at the by the end of March, with main construction beginning two weeks ago.

Paul Taylor, a spokesman for Scottow Moor Solar, the company behind the 25-year project, said it was working closely with Norfolk County Council, which owns the former airfield, to ensure construction work ran smoothly.

Some homeowners in the roads surrounding the site had criticised the increased level of construction traffic travelling to and from the airfield, but Mr Taylor said the solar farm's contractors were limited to 14 vehicles a day. Up to 200 people will be working on the site at peak times, who Mr Taylor said were either local or would be housed on site or at a nearly holiday village.

Mr Taylor said most days there would be no more than six lorries from the solar farm project, and added: 'We have made sure the construction traffic is routed to minimise disturbance.'

raf coltishall aerial shot. Picture; MIKE PAGE

raf coltishall aerial shot. Picture; MIKE PAGE - Credit: Archant

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Companies Enerparc and ESM have been contracted to work on the project.

Permission for the solar farm was approved by Broadland and North Norfolk District Councils just before Christmas.

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It is expected to generate more than £10m for the county council over the next 25 years.

The money would also pay for better services, including water, gas and electricity, to support future businesses on the site.

But some residents have spoken out against the increased traffic movements.

Mother-of-two Elizabeth Hobbs, 37, of Cromes Place, Badersfield, said: 'We are getting extremely noisy lorries 24 hours a day and it is disturbing my sleep. Sometimes there is one every five minutes.'

Mr Taylor said: 'In order to meet our deadlines for the project, it may be necessary for the construction teams to work between 7am and 11pm.'

But he said the no more than 14 vehicles a day were travelling to the solar farm site, and any extra could be travelling to other businesses on the former airfield.

He added that any driver who failed to use the approved route, to minimise disturbance, would be reprimanded.

The second section of the solar farm will be built between January and April 2016.

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