Controversial Trowse solar farm is approved
PUBLISHED: 17:24 22 July 2015 | UPDATED: 16:12 04 November 2019
Villagers have told of their disappointment after a controversial bid to build a solar farm on the edge of Norwich got the green light.
More than 50,000 solar panels are set to be installed in fields south west of Trowse after plans were approved by 10 to one at a South Norfolk Council planning meeting today.
Applicants IGP Solar Plant Number 5 Ltd, based in London, claim that the solar farm would generate enough energy to power 4,700 homes.
Proposals for the 117-acre site had been scaled down by around a third before they were approved - with initial plans requesting more than 75,000 panels on the site.
The large solar farm will be constructed in fields bounded by the A146 to the north, the A47 to the east, White Horse Lane to the west and Stoke Road to the south.
Parish councils including Bixley, Poringland, Caistor St Edmund, Stoke Holy Cross and Trowse with Newton had objected to the proposals.
Lyn Fabre, chairman of Trowse Parish Council, said she felt both angry and close to tears when the plans were given the go ahead.
"I'm very disappointed for the village of Trowse and particularly for the two houses immediately opposite the site," she said. "We did what we could and it wasn't to be.
"We put our case very well in writing.
"I just hope people will leave us alone now."
Kerry Prentice, vice chairman of Trowse Parish Council, said the decision to approve the application was disappointing.
"It's just the landscape," she said. "Every single piece of greenfield we've got is being covered by housing or solar panels.
"It's very disappointing."
She said the parish council was unlikely to appeal the decision as she felt they were unlikely to succeed.
Mike Linley, former producer of Anglia's Survival television series, who lives in Trowse, had also objected, and said the decision was a blow for the model village.
"This is a very large solar farm," he said. "We're blessed with space in Norfolk and you could easily have 100 of this size and no-one would be aware of their existence, so to have it right on the outskirts of Norwich seems a bit silly.
"It's simply going to be an eyesore."
He added that he felt Trowse would be "swamped", with a new 200-home estate and solar farm on one side of the village, and 800 more at
the nearby Deal Ground.
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