Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C


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

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.



  • Does anyone seriously think that Babergh Councillors are swayed by this man. On planning matters they take no notice of parish councils or residents so why this annoying man.

    Report this comment


    Thursday, June 5, 2014

  • The future has another nail driven into its coffin lid by this annoying man.

    Report this comment

    Lee Davies

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • Unsurprisingly for the Star the Clarkson "N" word story has no comment option, so here we go... For a race so averse to this word it's surprising how often their youngsters like to remind themselves of it in their rap "music".

    Report this comment

    Sarky Sage

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • Our efforts in the UK to reduce pollution are honourable, but will have absolutely zero effect while countries such as China are busily polluting the world.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • The NIMBY attitude is quite right when it comes to industrialising the countryside for no reason. The greatest "pollution" does not come from coal-fired power stations but from the politicians who continue to cry over emissions of carbon dioxide. To date there has not yet been one single item of evidence that carbon dioxide has a warming effect upon the climate or earth. Such evidence will forever not be found because the only effect that carbon dioxide can have on the atmosphere is one of increased cooling efficiency. Get the facts, make the rigft decisions.

    Report this comment

    Hans Schreuder

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • Quite agree...and people like Rhys Jones will object to anything that takes place in their back yard without suggesting alternative solutions.

    Report this comment

    Deep Throat

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • We are told that this country must find alternative sources of energy and not to rely on polluting coal fired power stations and imported gas. There are objectors to Sizewell, there are objectors to wind power and solar power. Objectors to fracking. Any other suggestions then ?

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

The close-knit Smith family in 2006: Matt, Wendy, Nikki and Barry

It can be upsetting and lonely having a child with a disability, but Wendy Smith would rather shout about the many positives. Steven Russell hears how love and kindness trumps any anger and bitterness

Domestic violence reports increase

Domestic violence reports soared by 12% in Suffolk last year with more than 2,000 recorded incidents involving male victims, police have said.

Woman conned by bogus caller (Stock photo)

A Hadleigh woman who lost £2,500 in a police scam has warned others to be alert to the crime.

Members of the nursing team at Ipswich Hospital.

Carers and visitors of people being looked after at Ipswich Hospital will next month be able to spend more time with patients as new extended visiting hours are introduced.

She was last seen in the area of Downside Close in Ipswich.

Concern is growing for a 49-year-old woman who has gone missing in Ipswich.

Part of Sue Brooks' photograph of pupils and staff at Fonnereau House School, Ipswich, in 1952. Are you in the picture?

I recently asked readers if they had memories of Fonnereau House School, Ipswich, which was in Fonnereau Road, close to High Street.

Essex police are investigating a robbery at Jaywick.

An 88-year-old Essex man suffered a broken hip when he was knocked to the ground by robbers who burst into his Jaywick home.

Doors reopen on the new look East of England Co-op Daily store in Woodbridge Thoroughfare. Staff members, left to right, Chloe Williams, James Buckles, Shirley Pierce.

Shoppers were greeted by the sight of a new-look Co-op on their high street yesterday, when a Suffolk branch of the store reopened following three weeks of refurbishment.

HGV drink-driver in court

A lorry driver carrying a trailer full of wine has admitted dangerous driving when weaving between lanes on the A14 while three times over the drink-drive limit.

Dan Poulter with Lord Robert Winston

ES 18.3.11

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet training day at Elstree film studios in Hertfordshire has come under fire from Conservative MP and former minister Dr Dan Poulter.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24