No means NO say villagers opposed to 2,800 acre solar energy park
- Credit: Say No to Sunnica
The people have spoken. And it’s an overwhelming NO.
With only days to go to register objections, there has been a massive outpouring of opposition to a 2,800-acre solar energy park.
If approved Sunnica would build the UK’s largest industrial solar park sprawling four sites in East Cambridgeshire and West Suffolk.
We captured part of that opposition from residents who have put posters opposing Sunnica outside their homes.
The deadline is March 17 to register online or write to the Planning Inspectorate listing thoughts and concerns regarding the proposal.
To put it into perspective, its size equates to that of 2,227 football pitches.
It includes 77 acres of battery energy storage systems.
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And it is so large it falls outside the normal planning process and will be determined by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Opposition group ‘Say No to Sunnica’ say that “there is support for solar energy but very little support for Sunnica.
“Fertile, vegetable growing, irrigated arable land will be taken out of production in a country that is only 64 per cent self-sufficient in food.”
The group says: “Technological advances have been made resulting in lighter, thinner solar panels.
“Solar can therefore sit on roofs and not on high quality arable land.
“Suffolk and Cambridgeshire experience an average of 1,495 hours a year of sunlight which makes a large land based solar scheme such as Sunnica questionable.”
Sunnica says that following the statutory consultation, changes were made including moving solar sites further away from homes.
“Feedback expressed views on the potential for Sunnica Energy Farm to impact on local wildlife,” the company said in a statement.
“We consider that we have now addressed this view through our revisions."
It also says it has implemented multiple mitigations covering areas such as archaeology, environmental impact, traffic management, cabling and the effect on landscapes.
Sunnica says its application to the Planning Inspectorate sets out “how we had regard to the responses that we received”.
Full details of how to register an objection can be found here.
FULL REPORT: Page 18