Plans to build a solar farm in Walpole St Andrew have been thrown out by planners.
West Norfolk Council’s planning committee refused Elgin Energy permission to create a 30mw solar farm on Rose and Crown Farm, Walpole Bank, at a meeting yesterday.
The firm hoped to generate enough electricity to power 7,000 homes with a solar photovoltaic array over 25 years on the 66 hectare site, which is Grade II agricultural land.
Committee chairman Vivienne Spikings said: “I have concerns about the loss of agricultural land – we are the bread bowl of England.
“I know we need electricity but we also need food.
“I propose we refuse this application on the grounds that it is a huge development and what they are doing with the land.”
Nearby resident James Whittaker told the meeting that he did not object to renewable energy but said the application was inappropriate as the site stands in the middle of two rural communities.
Colin Murphy, who represented the Elgin energy, said the land would continued to be used for agriculture as a commercial flock of sheep would be grazing the site.
He also added that the firm had conducted four public meetings to outline the plans to the community along with leaflet drops.
Mr Murphy also added that Natural England had not raised any objections to the plans.
Planning officers had initially recommended the committee approve the solar farm.