The government has again delayed the decision on whether one of Europe’s biggest solar farms can be built on the east Cambridgeshire and west Suffolk border.  

The Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero was due to announce a final decision yesterday (Thursday) on the 2,500-acre Sunnica Energy Farm development.  

But late in the afternoon, it was revealed the deadline will be extended for a second time and a new date set.  

An update on the planning inspectorate website says: “The Secretary of State will be setting a new deadline for a decision on this application.  

“A statement confirming the new deadline for a decision will be made to the House of Commons and House of Lords in accordance with section 107(7) of the Planning Act 2008 as soon as possible.” 

The decision was originally due in September. 

The proposed scheme would be located across three sites: Sunnica East Site A, near Isleham; Sunnica East Site B, near Freckenham and Worlington; and Sunnica West Site A, near Chippenham and Kennett. 

If built, it would connect to the national electricity grid at the Burwell National Grid Substation.    

There has been widespread opposition to the development, with grassroots campaigners, councils and MPs critical of the plans.  

A spokesperson for the campaign group Say No To Sunnica said: “This has been hanging over us for more than 4.5 years.  

“There are so many flaws to this particular scheme that were well evidenced throughout the official examination process.  

“We know that solar can and should be done much better than this and were hoping to hear a rejection yesterday.” 

The group has previously argued the scheme’s footprint is larger than Heathrow and would engulf villages, fence off open countryside, disrupt wildlife and threaten food security with highly productive farmland lost. 

Lucy Frazer, the MP for South East Cambridgeshire, added the proposed solar farm "is unfit" for the area and "excessive in size". 

A Sunnica spokesperson said: “The UK needs to double the amount of renewable energy it generates by 2050. Sunnica would make a significant contribution to this goal.”