Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 14°C

Search

Suffolk: Griff Rhys Jones is ‘delighted’ after Government dismisses appeal over huge solar farm at Tattingstone

PUBLISHED: 15:04 03 June 2014

Actor Griff Rhys Jones has hailed a decision to dismiss an appeal which sought to install one of the UKs largest solar farms in the Suffolk countryside.

Actor Griff Rhys Jones has hailed a decision to dismiss an appeal which sought to install one of the UKs largest solar farms in the Suffolk countryside.

Actor Griff Rhys Jones has hailed a decision to dismiss an appeal which sought to install one of the UK’s largest solar farms in the Suffolk countryside.

The Government’s Planning Inspectorate yesterday turned down an appeal launched by Pegasus Planning Group, on behalf of Eco Energy World, in a long-standing dispute to build a solar farm across 94 acres of farmland in Tattingstone, near Ipswich.

The proposals, put forward initially by developers Hive Energy in October 2012, were met with disdain by campaign groups and residents.

In May last year, Mr Rhys Jones, who lives besides the Stour, described them as “cack-handed and opportunistic”. Hive Energy argued they formed part of a greener future and were not in an environmentally sensitive area.

They were dismissed in June last year by Babergh District Council, despite officers recommending approval.

The green developers appealed the decision, which led to a public inquiry at nearby Stutton Community Hall.

And yesterday it emerged the appeal has been dismissed.

Elizabeth Ord, the planning inspectorate, said in the report confirming the decision: “Taking all matters into consideration, in my judgement, the harm that would result from the development would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.

“The location of the proposal on the appeal site has not been justified and, consequently, I conclude that the planning balance is firmly against allowing the development. The appeal is, therefore, dismissed.”

If approved, the £18-20 million construction of Valley Farm Solar Park would have existed for at least 25 years in Coxhall Road.

It would have consisted of 42,000 tilted, static solar PV panels mounted on to a metal framework secured by posts embedded in to the ground.

Last year, the developers argued up to 5,400 homes could have been powered by the site, with up to 7,740 tonnes of CO2 emissions being prevented every year.

But Babergh District Council councillor David Wood, who represents Tattingstone, claimed it was the “industrialisation of the countryside”, harming an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Last night, speaking from a film set in Morocco, Mr Rhys Jones said he was “heartened” by the decision to dismiss the appeal.

“It is not a victory or a failure of the countryside: it is just a very sensible decision,” he said.

“I am delighted by this news.”

It comes just a week after Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, dismissed a similar appeal – and refused planning permission – brought forward by Hive Energy after their proposals for a 25 megawatt (mW) project across 127 acres of farmland at Hacheston, near Framlingham, was repeatedly rejected by Suffolk Coastal District Council.

A spokesman for the Stour and Orwell Society said: “We have been consistently opposed to the proposals, which we felt had no grounds, and are delighted the appeal has been turned down.”

A Pegasus Planning Group spokesman was, today, unavailable for comment.

Police have been tackling regular anti-social behaviour around Ipswich Waterfront – with Suffolk New College grounds among those where the problems have been spotted.

A motocross enthusiast has called for better facilities for young riders in Suffolk after long-running concerns about illegal racing resurfaced.

The law firm representing former pupils of the disgraced Oakwood School in Stowmarket say their clients have received more than £2million in compensation from Suffolk County Council.

The founder of a charity that supports sexually abused children in Suffolk has given an insight into what it’s like working in this harrowing field as the organisation marks its fifth birthday.

The most popular baby names for 2016 in England and Wales have been revealed with Olivia and Oliver being ranked as the number one choices.

Family and friends have raised a glass for Muriel ‘Midge’ Barker – who celebrates her 106th birthday on Friday

With the weekend only a few days away you might be wondering how you are going to spend it, check out our what’s on guide for events near you.

The first of two exhibition sessions detailing options for a new bypass on the A12 in Suffolk was held yesterday – with about 70 people attending.

Parents have been urged to read more often to their children after research found almost half feel they do not set a good example at home across East Anglia.

A woman and three teenagers have appeared in court charged with Class A drugs offences in Ipswich.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24