Tattingstone solar farm plan turned down

Solar Farm protest sign, Tattingstone
Image caption The council had received 90 letters of objection from local villagers

A proposal for a solar farm in the Suffolk countryside has been turned down following a campaign by objectors including Griff Rhys Jones.

Hive Energy wanted to build a 43,000-panel electricity plant at Valley Farm, Tattingstone near Alton Water.

Babergh District Council's planning committee has refused to grant planning permission on the grounds of visual impact.

Hive said it was "disappointed" and was likely to appeal against the decision.

The Stour & Orwell Society conservation group, of which comedian Griff Rhys Jones is a patron, had argued the 95 acre (38 hectare) site was unsuitable.


Councillor David Wood, who represents Tattingstone but was not on the committee, said he was "absolutely delighted".

"It's a pleasant change for a committee to listen to local people and give its unanimous support," he said.

"It would have been the industrialisation of countryside which abuts an area of outstanding natural beauty.

"It would have been criminal to build on agricultural land when they should be building solar panels on brownfield sites and on new-build homes first."

The council's planning officers had recommended the scheme be granted planning permission.

Hive said the £25m project would have been able to generate enough electricity for 6,000 homes and that the visual impact would be "minimal".

Giles Redpath, Hive's chief executive, said: "We are disappointed the planning committee chose not to follow their officers' advice.

"Our application follows both local and national planning policy, so it is likely we will be appealing this decision."

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