Energy firm briefs Ormesby councillors on solar farm
PUBLISHED: 20:46 14 February 2013 | UPDATED: 20:46 14 February 2013
Parish councillors in Ormesby were briefed this week on an energy firm's proposals to establish a solar farm on the edge of the village.
Two representatives from Camborne Engergy, travelled from their base in Cardiff, to outline the “hypothetical” scheme they said would bring a host of benefits.
Associate Sian Assiratti, said the 71-acre solar farm just off Nova Scotia Road, would be the small company’s fifth, and its first in Norfolk.
The site, she said, was earmarked following an approach from the landowner, but that there was every chance it could come to nothing and never be presented to planners.
The purpose of the visit was to gauge public opinion and feedback to head office, she added.
“It is all hypothetical, it may never come to planning. But we do want to introduce ourselves and speak to people,” she said.
The farm would be made up of dozens of photovoltaic cells that capture the sun’s energy and convert it into enough electricity to power approximately 4,200 homes a year.
In its literature about the farm Camborne says there will be “little visual impact on the surrounding area” thanks to screening provided by existing hedgerows and trees, and the farm would still allow for animals to be grazed on the land. It will have a life-span of 21 years.
“What we are doing is resting the land. Sheep can still graze and it brings everything back like grasses and butterflies. And the panels can be recycled afterwards,” she added.
She stressed the company wanted to “treat people properly” and was keen to listen.
Members of the public however voiced concerns about the loss of prime agricultural land and also raised fears about the application, if approved, setting a precedent and leading to many more farms, transforming the landscape.
They were told that the farm would have no adverse effects on the land, and in fact could benefit it, and that in other parts of the country councils had put a cap on the number of farms permitted.
If a formal planning application is submitted to Great Yarmouth Borough Council Camborne have said it is likely to take 3-4 months to be determined. If passed construction would begin in the summer and take around 10 weeks to complete.
The roundabout by the First and Last is set to be refurbished. Jim Shrimplin said it gave a poor first impression of the village and that moves were afoot for it to be resurfaced. He hoped to add flower beds and was looking for a sponsor.
Councillors resolved to see for themselves the state of a footpath leading to the beach at California following a complaint from a member of the public at the meeting.
Profit from the sales of cigarettes has paid for a clutch of defibrillators, one of which is headed to Ormesby, thanks to The East of England Co-op. Members hoped their generosity would extend to the tourist hub at Scratby, which was equally deserving and possibly in greater need.
Members are hoping that a county council funding pot could end frustration over a missing footpath. People have been asking for 25 years for safe passage to the swings and recreation ground in Station Road but funding for the project on council council-owned land has never yet been forthcoming.