Controversial plan for solar farm still awaiting decision

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Latest environment news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Proposals to create a renewable energy farm using 25,000 solar panels in Belchamp St Paul face a “great deal” of opposition.

Energy investment company Sovereign Partners has drawn up plans for a solar panel site, which would provide enough energy for 1,700 houses, at Big Deer Lodge in Church Street. The panels would cover 38 acres of land.

Nigel Harley, former district councillor for the area, said he believed the proposals were “inappropriate”.

“There is a great deal of opposition in the village and legitimate concerns about the application have been put forward,” he said.

“People are concerned about the environmental impact, and why prime agricultural land is being used instead of a brown field site.”

Mr Harley said he believed a decision on the application, which was due to be determined in November, would be made at a meeting of Braintree District Council at the end of the month.

“The developer was given more time to work on aspects of its application, but although no exact date has been fixed, I think a meeting will take place towards the end of January,” he said.

“Then we will know either way what will happen.”

A spokeswoman for the district council said no decision had been made and no date set for the planning committee meeting.