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Baylham: Opponents of 50-acre solar farm voice concerns over impact on community

PUBLISHED: 13:19 02 February 2014 | UPDATED: 13:39 02 February 2014

Residents of Baylham attending a public meeting in the village hall on Saturday to discuss plans for a 50 acre solar farm

Residents of Baylham attending a public meeting in the village hall on Saturday to discuss plans for a 50 acre solar farm

Archant

Opponents of a proposed 50-acre solar farm on land near a Suffolk village have voiced their concern about the impact the site would have on their community.

The visual intrusiveness of the proposed farm, at Hill Farm, Baylham, near Needham market, and the loss of agricultural land were among the worries raised during a public meeting over the weekend.

Revised proposals for the site, which campaigners have said will be the size of 34 football pitches, have been submitted by Hive Energy Ltd after earlier plans were withdrawn last year.

People living in the village vowed to fight the plans during the meeting on Saturday.

County councillor and parish council chairman, John Field, said he did not believe the village as a whole was against renewable energy, but it was when it meant the scale of the project would be extremely large and visually intrusive on residents.

He told the meeting: “It is by no means certain (it will get the go ahead), but if we do nothing, then it is.”

An online campaign group, Hived Off, has also been set up in response to the plans for the solar farm.

Rob Blackwell, the creator of the site, said it had received strong public support.

He added: “The major feeling is that people are against it (solar farm) and lots of people are asking what they need to do.”

Bosses from Hive Energy have said the new proposals had been produced following feedback, including on the visual impact, received about last year’s application.

Julian Pertwee, from the company, said in November that the site had the potential to act as a “beautiful nature reserve”, which would improve bird and insect life.

People have until February 12 to submit their views.

To go to Hive Energy’s website visit www.hiveenergy.co.uk. For the campaign website go to www.hivedoff.org.uk

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