Concerns solar farm could lead to ‘industrialisation of huge swath of countryside’

News from the Bury Free Press
News from the Bury Free Press
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Plans for a solar farm near two villages could be given the go-ahead despite concerns it could lead to ‘the industrialisation of a huge swath of countryside’.

Gamma Solar Ltd wants to build the 52Ha facility with 108,000 solar panels on farmland north west of Thetford Road, Ingham, which would generate 26,100MWh of electricity annually - sufficient for 5,520 homes - and operate for 30 years.

The plans, which include 20 inverter buildings, were amended twice to set the array back from Culford Road and feature more landscape screening. However, Ingham and Culford, West Stow and Wordwell Parish Councils both objected with Ingham citing a ‘visual intrusion/eyesore on the village’ as well as the ‘industrialisation of a huge swath of countryside’.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which is due to discuss the application on Thursday, received 63 letters opposing the plan, 18 in support and a petition against with 201 names. Those in support said the solar farm would have ‘less visual impact than a wind farm’ and is a ‘safe power’.

Officers recommended the plan for approval noting that proposed planting will reduce any potential visual impacts over time.