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Newmarket Journal readers' letters to the editor

The Sunnica solar farm plans draw yet more criticism from readers this week.


We know local people are aware of the proposed solar farm on agricultural land not far from Soham which is being proposed by Sunnica.

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

We are aware that our local MP is opposed to this development and we are grateful for her support. We have recently become aware, from the farming press, of another solar farm being proposed in Lincolnshire/Rutland area. We thought the Sunnica one was large, but the new proposal is for 880 hectares on productive farmland. To us this proposal is madness.

Developments like the one proposed must be either severely curtailed, stopped, or heavily controlled, not just because of the loss of farmland, but also because of the ruining of our countryside and because the huge batteries they need can be extremely dangerous and have been known to explode and spread dangerous chemicals over a wide area.

Food production is already 18 per cent depressed because of increases in fertiliser prices, house building, and farmers being encouraged to make room for wildlife. Now, with these huge solar farms being proposed, more agricultural land is being lost. With recent activity in Ukraine there will be an effect on the amount of, in particular, wheat and also chemicals for fertiliser, both of which are imported by the UK in quantity. We cannot afford to let even more land to go under solar farms and still expect to feed the people of Britain.

We fully support the need for green energy and the use of solar panels to produce it. In fact, we have had solar panels on our roof for 15 years. But we feel very strongly that it is wrong to continue to put them on productive farmland. Why can’t the government make it law that all commercial buildings, offices, factories, warehouses have to have solar panels on their roofs. If this is not sufficient in the short term, then the government should set up a grant system to encourage owners of existing buildings to instal solar panels on their roofs. Not only would this benefit the owners of the buildings but also free up farmland to grow much-needed food and not spoil the wonderful country we have around us.

We know it is considered right, especially in this Platinum Jubilee year for the Queen, to plant to reduce our carbon footprint, and we support this. It is dubious whether this will actually be effective until about 25 years hence, but more importantly we should not be planting them on productive arable land. Better to plant them on scrubby, poor quality land and uplands, where trees grew before they were cleared, and where agriculture can only be carried out at great cost.

John and Rosemary Aitchison, Soham


The Marie Curie Great Daffodil appeal is back.

Like all charities we lost a lot of income during the pandemic. So the Marie Curie fund-raising group for the Newmarket area is once again asking for your support and generosity. Either during the Daffodil collection on Saturday, March 12, in The Guineas shopping centre or into one of our boxes in the surrounding shops and businesses.

More and more people living with a terminal illness wish to stay in their own homes with their family and friends around them and our Marie Curie Nurses help to make this possible, plus we now look after patients with all terminal illnesses. On behalf of Marie Curie we thank you for your support.

Sheila Jeffery, Chairman, Marie Curie Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket fund raising group


On November 18, 2021 an article appeared in the Newmarket Journal quoting Ed Garratt, CEO of Ipswich and East Suffolk, North East and West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Groups. He stated he was ‘ashamed’ of dentistry provision in Suffolk and was establishing a task force to bring about improvement.

I wrote to him the same day concerning a person with Motor Neurone Disease who had toothache, was unable to sit upright and was dependent on breathing apparatus. She was entitled to treatment under The Discrimination and Disabilities Act but because of a change of policy she could not obtain treatment from a specialist dentist without referral from another dentist. This referral was not free. Previously, a person could self-refer.

On March 2, 2022 (almost three months later) Mr Garratt eventually responded confirming this change of policy and stating it was being rolled out across the country. This policy change makes dentistry provision for the most vulnerable in our society even more of an impossibility.

I wanted to highlight this backward step to urge anyone with similar experiences or strong views to write to their MP or, at the request of Mr Garratt, email england.dentaleast@nhs.net

The person I was trying to assist has since died. The shame expressed by Mr Garratt is therefore totally justified.

John Scott, Old Station Road, Newmarket

-- Email your letters to news@newmarketjournal.co.uk