Solar farm plan for 200 acres

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A huge solar farm on more than 200 acres of farmland is being proposed between Burwell and Wicken.

London-based company Lightsource Renewable Energy is looking at building on Goosehall Farm and, if plans are submitted and approved, said the farm would produce enough electricity to power 12,000 homes a year and cut annual carbon emissions by 20,000 tonnes.

The company will unveil its plans at an open community information evening at Gardiner Memorial Hall in Burwell High Street between 5.30pm and 8pm on Monday, August 11.

Company senior planner Brendan Clarke said: “The purpose of the evening is to introduce the proposal. We are hoping to get support for the project.

“If there are any points of uncertainty we will try to address them. We want to actually engage with the community and answer any concerns that they have.”

Mr Clarke said the flatness of the land, its close proximity to an electrical substation and the potential to work with Wicken Fen Vision team made the proposed site an ideal location for the solar farm which he estimated would take between three and four months to build.

“There’s visibility from footpaths and roads but we think we can put additional planting and other mitigating measures and make it so that no one can see it,” he said.

Lightsource’s initial proposal said over two thirds of the land would remain uncovered and they would look to use this space to create a habitat for wildlife as well as running educational school visits.

Burwell Parish Council chairman, Derek Reader, said he was personally against the idea.

“I don’t agree with it because it’s on agricultural land. I think renewable energy is the way forward but I think there are lots of other places that they could use.”

Both Burwell and Wicken Parish Councils were due to discuss the proposals for the solar farm this week but a formal planning application has yet to be submitted.