Councillors asked to defer decision on Fenland’s first solar farm

FENLAND’S first solar farm will have to wait a bit longer.

Lark Energy’s plan to build a 2.7 MW solar energy farm at Reach Drove, Whittlesey was deferred at their request today.

Fenland District Council said the company – who say the farm could provide energy for 650 homes- asked for a deferment following late obnjections by Middle Level Commissioners.

Councillors will now discuss the farm, which will be built on 21.5 acres of poor quality grassland, at their July meeting at their earliest.

The south facing solar panels, spaced 6.5m apart and at 20-30 degrees, are made with a non-reflective coating to minimise the glare from the panels whilst absorbing the maximum amount of light.

Nearby residents have said that they have doubts over the amount of energy that will be produced and they object to the loss of agricultural land.

A report to councillors by their officers notes that “it is considered that a countryside location is appropriate for this development and that on balance there would be no adverse effects on visual amenity, the landscape character, agricultural land and biodiversity.

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“A variety of hedging around the site will provide habitat and food for a variety of wildlife and enhance the ecological value of the site.

“Although there will be a change to the character of the area and the visual appearance this is not considered to be of a detrimental nature.”

Larkfleet Homes was granted permission to build 460 houses on the outskirts of Whittlesey in April.

A 35-acre, 5MW solar farm at Burnthouse Farm in Turves was rejected earlier this year but The Abbey Group have re-submitted their original plans.