Decision on controversial solar farm plans put on hold

The developer behind plans for a 38-acre solar energy site in Belchamp St Paul has been given more time to work on its application.

Sovereign Partners, an energy investment firm based in London, is proposing to create a solar panel site, which would provide enough energy for 1,700 houses, at Big Deer Lodge in Church Street.

Under the plans, 25,000 solar panels would be used.

However, many villagers have voiced their disapproval, feeling the panels would harm the unspoilt landscape.

Braintree District Council was due to determine the application last week, but a decision was delayed.

“The target date for determination was November 5, but that has been extended to allow the applicant to put forward additional information,” said a council spokeswoman.

Parish councillors from surrounding villages – Foxearth and Liston, Belchamp St Paul and Belchamp Otten and Pentlow – which are all facing the prospect of solar farm plans, have joined together to fight the proposals.

Angela and Keith Warner, whose house at Pannells Ash Farm overlooks the site, have also objected.

“Interested parties will be able to comment when all the information is received,” added the spokeswoman.