‘Move with the times’ on Snettisham solar farm scheme, committee told

Village view - St Mary Church, Snettisham. ENGANL00120130429170958
Village view - St Mary Church, Snettisham. ENGANL00120130429170958
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A planned solar farm on the edge of a West Norfolk village has been approved after councillors were urged to “move with the times” and support green energy schemes.

Initial proposals for the site on Bircham Road, Snettisham were rejected by West Norfolk Council’s planning committee in the spring.

But a reduced scheme, containing around 9,000 panels, was approved by the same committee on Monday.

Committee member Martin Storey told his colleagues: “This type of energy is needed at this time. I can’t see too much wrong with that. It will benefit the local community.

“I’m all in favour of it. We should move with the times.”

Earlier, Chris Poulton, on behalf of applicants Solar Associates Ltd, told the committee the proposal had been reviewed to reflect the issues raised by members when a larger scheme was rejected in April.

He said: “The scheme before you has been preapred following extensive consultations.”

The concerns raised included the proposed height of the panels and the potential impact of the scheme on the nearby St Mary’s Church, a grade one listed building.

But Mr Poulton said the height of the panels had been reduced, while the overall development had been reduced to just one field.

He also pointed out that the site would be returned to agricultural use following the 25-year operating period of the solar farm.

The scheme was also supported by parish councillors.