Solar farm wins seal 
of approval

Latest breaking news from the Newmarket Journal,, @nktjournall on Twitter
Latest breaking news from the Newmarket Journal,, @nktjournall on Twitter

A massive solar farm covering more than 70 acres is set to go ahead in Soham.

Proposals to site up to 50,000 panels on land at Triangle Farm on Angle Common, were agreed by council planners when they met in Ely on Wednesday after visiting the site.

Cambridgeshire County Council applied for planning permission in August for what was described as a “large scale renewable energy scheme.”

At their meeting members of East Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee heard concerns had been raised by Soham Town Council over the loss of agricultural land and what benefits the project would have for Soham residents. Councillors also said if the proposal went ahead they would expect to see the town benefit from cash through planning legal agreements.

According to a report from the county council’s agents Savills (UK) Ltd, the solar farm would generate a peak capacity of 12 megawatts of electricity.

“The installation is forecast to produce enough electricity to power 3,150 homes per year.”

The report also said that sheep could graze around the panels and that the development would not result in the “irreversible development” of agricultural land.

The solar farm will be in operation for the next 25 years and after that time, according to the report: “The site will either be decommissioned or returned to agricultural use or the applicant has advised that permission would be sought to extend the life of the site for a further number of years. It is considered that the temporary loss of this land for intensive agricultural purposes would not outweigh the public benefit associated with renewable energy generation.”