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Sunnica project outrage from village residents as 2,800-acre solar farm proposal gets green light for next phase

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Village communities in West Suffolk and East Cambridgeshire have been left outraged after the Planning Inspectorate rubber stamped the 2,800-acre solar farm planning application put forward by Sunnica, allowing it to move to the next phase.

The project, which has been deemed a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, was judged to have fulfilled the necessary criteria for public consultation, despite many opposing views being put forward.

A joint letter from Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, and Matt Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, described Sunnica Ltd as having ‘failed to engage in a high quality pre-application consultation with local communities, local authorities and those who would be directly affected by the project’.

Say No to Sunnica will continue to challenge the proposal.
Say No to Sunnica will continue to challenge the proposal.

It added: “We believe that the consultation undertaken by Sunnica Ltd should be deemed inadequate.”

A document submitted jointly by East Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, West Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council described the plan as ‘meeting the bare minimum requirements to fulfill a statutory consultation’.

Despite these views, the decision was made on Thursday to allow the plans to proceed to the examination phase.

The group Say No to Sunnica, which is composed of residents living close to the site, has stated that 93 per cent of local residents feel that the consultation has not been acceptable.

Catherine Judkins, chair of the group, commented: “We’re disappointed in the decision, because we have a compelling case and have proven and evidenced that case. We now encourage everyone to register as an interested party in the new year and put forward their concerns.”