Controversial plans for a solar farm large enough to power more than 8,500 homes could "compromise flight safety" due to reflection from the panels, Norwich Airport has warned. 

Pathfinder Clean Energy (PACE) is hoping to build a solar farm on a field northeast of Reepham Road in Horsford. 

Norwich Evening News: Pathfinder Clean Energy (PACE) is hoping to build a solar farm on a field northeast of Reepham Road in HorsfordPathfinder Clean Energy (PACE) is hoping to build a solar farm on a field northeast of Reepham Road in Horsford (Image: PA)

The project would be operational for 40 years, taking one year to build and one year to decommission.

But the proposals have been meet with backlash from local authorities and organisations - with Norwich Airport the latest to voice its concerns. 

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In a letter to Broadland District Council (BDC), a spokesman for the airport wrote: "We have several concerns about the effect of the solar panels on flight safety.

"We are discussing these with the developer.

"If the plan remains unchanged, we will object to the development because it will compromise flight safety, something that we clearly do not wish to do."

Norwich Evening News: Norwich Airport has voiced its objection to the plansNorwich Airport has voiced its objection to the plans (Image: Denise Bradley)

If built, the solar farm would be built on 33.6 hectares and generate approximately 24.8 gigawatt hours of renewable energy each year.

As well as the solar panels the development would include a substation, which would be less than 3.5 metres high and designed in a way to "minimise harm and mitigate any potential impacts".

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"Surely this site and solar reflection is adding a hazard and increased risk to pilots, airport operators, passengers and homes in the area at critical stages of flights," said a spokesman for Horsford Parish Council in a letter to BDC.

"The site will [also] change from agricultural land to that of acres of Solar Panels and will be visible from the Reepham Road.

Norwich Evening News: Plans for the solar farmPlans for the solar farm (Image: Broadland District Council)

"While solar is green energy and the Parish Council fully support the policy of carbon zero we cannot understand why a site [excellent for growing crops] has been selected."

A planning statement from PACE said: "The site will be designed to enable continued agriculture in the form of grazing of livestock such as sheep, while also enhancing biodiversity through the change in intensive farming such as arable, to meadow and grazing land.

"Once decommissioned, the solar panels and associated infrastructure will be removed and the land returned to its former use."