Wind farm firm to unveil solar energy scheme at Syderstone exhibition

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An energy firm which won a lengthy legal battle to build a wind farm close to a West Norfolk village has now unveiled plans to build a solar farm nearby.

A public exhibition of the proposed Jack’s Lane solar farm will be held in Syderstone today.

Developer Renewable Energy Systems Ltd (RES) says it hopes to submit a planning application for the scheme this summer.

But community representatives have said they know little about the proposal so far.

RES claims that, if approved, the solar farm could produce another electricity to supply the equivalent of more than 1,000 homes.

Rebecca Meek, the company’s solar developer, said: “We believe that the solar farm will make a valuable contribution to the UK’s energy needs and we look forward to welcoming local people to the public exhibition to view and discuss our plans.”

Reg Thompson, chairman of Syderstone parish council, yesterday confirmed they had been invited to attend the exhibition, but had been given no further details of what is proposed.

He said: “Until we find out what they’re up to, it would be unfair to comment.”

John Ward, clerk to the neighbouring Docking parish council, said they had also been invited to the event, but knew no more about the scheme.

What is known is that the proposed site of the new development is off the B1454 near the hamlet of Barmer, between Docking and Syderstone.

It is also close to the Jack’s Lane wind farm, which the company has now built, two years after a High Court judge threw out campaigners’ bid to halt it and a nearby wind farm scheme.

The scheme, together with the Chiplow wind farm at Bagthorpe, was initially refused planning permission by West Norfolk Council in 2011, before that decision was overturned by a government inspector in 2012.

Local campaigners then took the case to the High Court in London, arguing that there were significant differences between the oral and written evidence submitted by one expert on behalf of one of the developers, E’On, which were not properly taken into account.

But the case was rejected by a judge who ruled there was “no genuine doubt” about why the inspector had granted planning permission.

Today’s exhibition is open at the Syderstone village hall from 2pm until 7pm.