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Go-ahead for solar farm at Ellough near Beccles

PUBLISHED: 08:00 20 April 2013

A solar farm similar to the one being proposed at Ellough.

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A solar farm similar to the one being proposed at Ellough. .

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Plans for a new solar farm at Ellough were unanimously approved by Waveney District Council's Development Control Committee on Tuesday.

The scheme, by Lark Energy, for a 14.1MW solar farm will be located on the former RAF airfield at Ellough, adjacent to the industrial estate and new enterprise zone.

The company claims it will generate enough clean energy for around 5,000 homes a year.

There were no objections to the plan by members of the public at the meeting.

A number of measures have been included to ensure the solar panels are not highly visible.

Existing tree and hedgerow boundaries will be maintained and additional boundaries planted to provide visual screening as well as a biodiversity action plan.

Construction traffic will be routed from the A146 and Copland Way.

Jo Wall, development director at Lark Energy, said: “This is a high quality scheme and one with widespread public support.

“We are delighted that Waveney District Council has approved the plan and look forward to its construction.

“This scheme really does show Beccles to be a forward-looking town with a positive attitude to renewable energy. As someone who was brought up and educated in Beccles, I can understand why the town council was so keen to see this development.”

Ms Wall repeated the company’s pledge to support the local community.

“Lark Energy will now also be looking to deliver on the promise we made to the local community of providing three free solar installations to community schemes,” he said.

Lark Energy will be inviting expressions of interest in the community scheme to be considered by a small panel of local people and a representative from the company.

To be approved the scheme will need to demonstrate how the facility will benefit from both the free electricity generated and also the feed

in tariff.

Ms Wall said further details of eligibility for the scheme, criteria and assessment will be published shortly.

• Earlier this year a plan from Lark Energy for a larger 30MW scheme at Ellough was refused by Waveney planners.

The company have appealed against the refusal and a public inquiry is likely to be held later this year.

A spokesman for Waveney District Council said yesterday that they have had no notification of Lark Energy withdrawing their appeal.

No one from Lark Energy was available to say if the appeal was still going ahead.

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