Ingham: Major opposition to plans for large solar farm in land north …


Site for Ingham solar farm application.
Site for Ingham solar farm application.

Mariam Ghaemi1
Friday, November 15, 2013
9:00 AM

A village is up in arms over plans for a large solar farm covering countryside in west Suffolk.

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Dozens of people have objected to a proposal by Gamma Solar Limited for the renewable energy development on land owned by the Stennett family north-west of Ingham, off Thetford Road.

Key concerns include that the solar farm would be too near to people s homes and would spoil the attractiveness of the rural setting.

Plans for a perimeter fence around the development also raised considerable concern, with some saying it would give the appearance of a prisoner of war camp .

But since Gamma Solar Ltd submitted their planning application to St Edmundsbury Borough Council the firm has made a number of revisions in light of people s feedback.

A spokesman for Gamma Solar Ltd said: Key changes to the scheme are a retraction of the array away from the outskirts of Ingham and also Culford Road and the inclusion of more extensive planting offering further screening and ecological enhancement. Gamma Solar very much hopes that these changes address the concerns raised by the local residents.

All of the amended designs are available to see on the council s website www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk searching for the application number SE/13/0905/FUL.

The original size of the area to be covered by the solar photovoltaic panels was about 52 hectares, but Jonny Rankin, agent for the applicant, said this had been reduced to 37 hectares, adding the rows of panels would be closer together.

He also said the solar panels would now be 400 metres from the nearest property, which is in Culford Road, as opposed to 200 metres previously. And he confirmed the perimeter fence is planned to be a 2.5 metre high deer fence, adding there would be no barbed wire on top.

Linda Anslow, of Culford Road, said: Whilst not being opposed to the idea of renewable energy, we are continuing our campaign to prevent this installation because we feel it will have a massively detrimental effect on our rural community.

A spokesman for Gamma Solar said there would be limited views of the site from the village.

The development is said to provide savings in annual emissions of carbon dioxide of about 11,200 tonnes.

As a community benefit, Gamma Solar said it had already included funds to be used for heating St Bartholomew s Church in Ingham.

References

  1. ^ Mariam Ghaemi (www.eadt.co.uk)

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Ingham: Major opposition to plans for large solar farm in land north …

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