57,000 solar panels destined for the outskirts of the Norfolk Broads
The Norfolk Broads are made up of a network of rivers and lakes where most of the land is under a special level of protection by the National Park called the Suffolk Broads Act 1988. The Norfolk Broads have been awarded many conversation designations for example; Special Protection Area, 28 sites of Special Scientific Interest, Environmentally Sensitive Area and a National Nature Reserve therefore, it may sound a little odd that 57,000 solar panels may be installed over 73 acres of land surrounding the Norfolk Broads.
As odd as it may seem, this is what Trafford Solar Park developers are planning to do on land in Hoveton which is located just minutes away from Britain’s largest protected wetland. This has sparked anger amongst the local families which have voted against the proposed development claiming that it would damage the tourism which would result in a massive loss of £2.5 million a year.
Local residents also claim that the company behind the plans to install solar panels on the land equal to the size of 43 football pitches, have under valued the farm land. The chairman of the Belaugh Parish Council has spoke about this and claimed that the farm land should be classed as grade three instead of grade two because the NFU have provided evidence that 98% of the land is grade three. The village of Belaugh is also a conservation village along with Wroxham which is the gateway to the Norfolk Broads.
According to Mr Evans, the plans for the proposed solar panel site also cuts across two footpaths into the Norfolk Broads and he also states that the site will have ‘a big visual impact of tourists.’ Norman Evans also expressed that the village is not against solar panels but they are ‘against a huge site like this being built on prime farming land.' he continued, 'there are many brown fields sites in East Anglia where renewable energy farms could be built.’
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