Solar company puts new plan to Ingham village

The proposed new site for a solar farm at Ingham is further away from Culford Road (Google Maps) ANL-160305-113628001
The proposed new site for a solar farm at Ingham is further away from Culford Road (Google Maps) ANL-160305-113628001
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A new plan for a solar farm at Ingham will be shown to villagers next week.

A previous application for a larger solar farm, by Gamma Solar, beside Culford Road was refused permission by St Edmundsbury Borough Council, then lost an appeal in September 2014.

Solar panels ANL-160305-164402001

Solar panels ANL-160305-164402001

Now a company called Solafields is proposing to build a 20 hectare solar farm north of the original site, over the brow of the hill, on a site it says is surrounded by existing mature hedges and trees and out of view from Ingham village.

St Edmundsbury rejected the previous plan because it felt the scheme visual impact would be too great.

In refusing the appeal, the inspector said: “The proposal would harm the character and appearance of the Estate Sandlands landscape area and its visual amenity and the proposed mitigation planting would be of only limited benefit during the latter part of the proposed 30 year life of the development.”

A public exhibition, with members of Solafields’ project team will be on Wednesday May 11 at St Bartholomew’s Church, Ingham, from 3.30pm to 7.30pm.

The proposed solar farm could generate 13 megawatts of electricity – enough to power about 3,900 homes.

Mark Candlish, from Solafields, said: “As well as providing clean renewable energy, the solar farm could deliver many local benefits, such as financial contributions to local projects, biodiversity enhancements and jobs.”

Solafields has a community benefit fund for all projects which can sponsor local initiatives. It welcomes suggestions which can include solar or heating projects in local buildings and educational projects.

It says it would use local suppliers where possible.

Further information about the proposal can be found at www.solafields.co.uk