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Bridgham Parish Council chairman says village preparing to “mount the fight” against resubmitted solar farm plans

Latest News from the Diss Express, dissexpress.co.uk, @diss_express on Twitter

Latest News from the Diss Express, dissexpress.co.uk, @diss_express on Twitter

A parish council chairman says his village is preparing to “mount the fight” against a 174-acre solar farm application which has been resubmitted in Bridgham.

The proposed development, for land at Hall Farm and Field Barn Farm, would be the biggest solar farm in Norfolk.

A previous application, by developers REthink Energy on behalf of farmer Peter Wright, was made last summer to Breckland Council, but subsequently withdrawn in September. Officers at the council had recommended refusal on the original application.

Changes in the application, received by the council last week, include the reduction in the number of solar panels on the site, from more than 144,000 to around 135,000, and offering benefits to the community. It would be able to provide power for 10,000 homes.

Parish Council chairman Mark Dickenson told the Diss Express: “The application is back in and the village is preparing again to mount the fight against it.

“Nobody, from day one, has ever come to me from Bridgham and say they support it.

“It is on farm land. That is our argument. We are not anti solar. It is a disgraceful use of good farmland.”

Residents living within one mile of the farm have been offered £200 off their energy bills for five years in a Local Energy Discount Scheme, while a £200,000 independently managed fund dedicated to local conservation would be set up.

REthink say they are also in talks with East Harling Primary School for an installation of a solar system worth up to £10,000, claiming it will provide £1,500 worth of free electricity, as well as teaching aids.

REthink Energy founder Pete Grogan said: “When you stack up the ecological, social, environmental, economic and educational benefits, it’s not hard to see why this proposal enjoys such strong support. It does so much more than just tick the boxes; it sets new standards in harmonious, inclusive clean-energy delivery, not just in the UK but globally. “It’s a proposal that directly incorporates and delivers the requests of stakeholders, present and future, and is an example of how to do it right.”

 

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