May 19 2013 Latest news:
By Matt Hunter
Monday, March 4, 2013
A SOLAR panel farm could be built over more than 50 acres of farmland about three miles from Ipswich.
The solar site, which would have about 45,000 panels, is proposed to be built across two fields at Hill Farm, Baylham, near Great Blakenham.
The proposals describe how the panels, capable of generating up to 10 megawatts of electricity, would only last 25 years before the site could then be left as farmland.
A control room and sub-station would need to be built to connect the panels to the national grid. During the construction phase, 10 to 12 lorries are expected to come in and out of the farm over a three-month period, with 25 members of staff on site.
The design statement describes how a 2.5metre high fence and CCTV cameras would be needed to protect against vandals and thieves.
Livestock would be able to graze across the area, with grass grown on the site.
Suffolk County Council’s archaeological service has said there is a “high potential” of discovering important heritage artefacts at the site.
A number of medieval and post-medieval finds have been located at the site as well as some prehistoric artefacts in nearby quarry pits.
The service said there was an “extensive scatter” of Iron Age, Roman and Saxon material to the south of the site which is a possible Roman temple.
The county council has called for a full archaeological evaluation to take place before Mid Suffolk District Council makes its decision on whether to grant planning permission.
Mid Suffolk is expected to give its decision by May 21.
The site lies about 500m to the south of Baylham, 750m to the north-west of Great Blakenham and about 5km from Ipswich.