Home   Stowmarket   Article

Subscribe Now

Solar development in Badley near Stowmarket measuring same as nearly 70 football pitches recommended for refusal





A solar development measuring nearly the same as 70 football pitches has been recommended for refusal.

The development would be situated on a portion of land at Woodlands Farm, southwest of Stowmarket Road, in Badley, and measure 57.71ha — the equivalent of around 70 football pitches.

Although the developer, Elgin Energy, estimates the solar farm could power around 14,000 homes in Stowmarket for 40 years, as well as contribute to Mid Suffolk District Council’s commitment to Net Zero, several concerns have been raised — including over food security.

The development would be situated on a portion of land at Woodlands Farm in Badley, and measures 57.71ha — the equivalent of around 70 football pitches
The development would be situated on a portion of land at Woodlands Farm in Badley, and measures 57.71ha — the equivalent of around 70 football pitches

Over 90 per cent of the development would be situated on grade 3b agricultural land, classified as capable of producing moderate yields of a narrow range of crops, including cereals and grass.

In its objection letter, Stowmarket Town Council wrote: “The view of the Town Council is that this land represents prime agricultural land and the location is questionable.

“It is recognised that a balance needs to be achieved between renewable energy and the continuing provision of productive agricultural land.

“However, it was felt that the balance had not been achieved with the application for this site and hence, the Council is not in favour of supporting the proposal.”

Another resident wrote: “It would entail the loss of valuable agricultural land at a time when our food security is increasingly challenged.”

Planning officers also agreed that the development would have a significant impact on the heritage of the site, as well as potentially result in a serious impact on the residents’ amenity.

The developer maintains heritage assets would be protected and the project would have a negligible impact on amenity.

The application will be discussed by Mid Suffolk’s planning committee on Wednesday, December 6.