Councillors back Stretham solar farm plans

A HUGE new solar farm planned for farmland in Stretham has been given the go ahead by councillors.

The application, compiled by village landowners FC Palmer and Sons, will see a 20MW solar farm west of Cross Drove up and running in the coming weeks.

About 80 acres has been set aside for the solar farm and, at full capacity, it will be four times as big as the 4MW solar farm at Wilburton, which produces enough power for 1,200 homes.

The plans were considered by councillors at East Cambridgeshire District Council last Wednesday and were given wholesale backing, although a number of conditions were imposed, many of which related to mitigating the impact of the solar panels on the surrounding wildlife and vista.

In their submission to the council, the applicants said: “As a business we are large consumers of energy and we view the proposed solar farm to be the most effective means of sustainable renewable energy creation.

“Once the system is in place it will be productive for 25 years, continuing to generate renewable energy.

“We can continue to farm the land between the panels and when the site is no longer required, the panels and infrastructure can be removed.”

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Recommending the plans for approval, planning officer Sue Finlayson, said: “The development will make an important contribution to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and would raise no adverse effects on highway safety, ecology and protected species, flood risk or drainage.”

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