Solar farm appeal rejected

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An appeal to see a solar farm built on farm land in Belchamp St Paul has been rejected.

The appeal to Braintree District Council’s decision to reject a proposed solar farm at Big Deere Lodge Field, Belchamp St Paul has been dismissed by the Planning Inspector.

Lady Patricia Newton, cabinet member for planning and housing at Braintree District Council, said: “We are pleased that the Planning Inspector has backed the Council’s view that this is not the right location for a solar farm of this size.

“The creation of solar farms is a contentious one, and whilst we recognise the benefits, this has to be weighed against the impact a development of this type causes.

“Guidance put forward by the Government makes it clear that the focus should be on previously developed and non-agricultural land.

Agricultural land should only be used where it is shown to be necessary, and poorer quality land has been used in preference to higher quality land.

“The Planning Inspector has in this case backed the council’s findings that the 17ha site is predominantly made up of good quality land, and so is not suitable to house this type of large scale solar farm.”