Landowner earmarks almost 80 acres for new solar farm

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
8:16 AM

The rush to utilise East Cambridgeshire’s fen farmland for green energy production showed no sign of slowing this week as a farmer in Stretham entered fresh plans for a 77-acre solar farm.

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FC Palmer and Sons has applied to East Cambridgeshire District Council to convert crop-growing farmland south of Cross Drove into a 20-megawatt solar farm.

Agents acting for FC Palmer said that the land could still be used for grazing or crop production when the solar panels have been installed and added that planting and “habitat creation” would help screen the panels from public view.

They said: “Overall, and on balance, the development is considered to be positive and sympathetic to the wider environment.

“Land take will be minimal, in so much as the majority of the site can still be used for agricultural purposes, so ensuring farming practices can continue.

“The renewable energy project will not produce detrimental emissions but will contribute to the power needs of the nation, so helping meet the country’s obligations on climate change.”

Installed the 84,000 solar panels required for the development will take approximately 300 HGV trips, the applicants said.

A decision on the plans is expected within the next eight weeks. Visit www.eastcambs.gov.uk to view the plans.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? IS TOO MUCH FARMLAND BEING USED FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY? E-mail Daniel.mansfield@archant.co.uk or write to Ely Standard, Alexander House, Fore Hill, Ely, CB7 4AF.

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