Representations received regarding Sunnica Energy Farm

The list below includes all those who registered to put their case on Sunnica Energy Farm and their relevant representations.

SourceRepresentation - click on an item to see more details
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Younger
"Why is this project being constructed on prime farmland? That does not make any sense. Why is there an intention to use a battery storage system which has a record of bursting into flames and releasing toxic gases? Especially as there are no means available to extinguish such a blaze except allowing it to burn out. Why has no consideration been made for the environment during the construction, use and decommissioning of this array? It is as if a giant industrial factory is to be built over the landscape without any regulation of waste disposal, as it would appear that disposal of the solar panels is to bury them, which would be an additional ticking bomb for the environment. It would also appear that this company has been created by speculators with the intention to sell off at a profit as soon as construction is complete. Who then would be responsible for any liability? 1. Safety of the battery storage units. It would appear that if one should catch fire, and there are a number of recorded instances, the plan is to just let it burn, with no concern for residents. 2. Loss of farmland and the open countryside. This area is prime vegetable growing land. Not much point in going carbon zero with energy if you have to fly your vegetables in from Spain. It also might be normal for you city folk to live surrounded by security fencing, but to us here in the country it will be like being in prison. 3. This is our land. This is where our children grow up and their children also. You have no right to turn it into a power station just to make yourselves feel better about "Carbon"."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anthony George Bowser
"Concerned about the excessive size of the solar farm in a residential area. Concerned about the fire risk in the battery storage facility in a residential area. Concerned about increased vehicle movements around residential locations."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anthony Hagen
"The process was open to consultation. The land used is versatile agricultural land. Footpath will be blocked views destroyed. The lithium batteries are an unknown risk and IF they catch fire cannot be put out. No resource to manage this as previous lithium fires have shown."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ben Holland
"My [Redacted] is approximately 1.2 miles from the proposed site, if there was an emergency and evacuations were required how are the various schools and nursery’s meant to evacuate everyone to safe air. I’m a Firefighter in London so to get back for my children in an emergency is not going to be quick. I also know about the risks and hazards associated with solar farms which are not very nice. How are the fire service going to cover this extra risk? I believe Newmarket is the only whole time/full time station to this site."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Davison
"Sunnica appear to have little understanding or little regard for the inherent hazard that BESS facilities pose to public health. Sunnica, in my opinion, has the potential to be one of the greatest environmental disasters on record. We understand that the technology is relatively cheap with costs having halved over the last 2 years which is why Sunnica see this as their opportunity to make a huge profit over the short term. One of the guiding principles for BESS facilities is that they should be remote & far away from populated areas. This infrastructure has the potential to affect over 50k residents of West Suffolk & East Cambridgeshire (source: ONS) Lithium-ion battery technology has never been tested on this scale. It is well recognized that the lithium batteries used for storage on solar farms carry a serious risk of fire. The science however is incontrovertible, the more batteries, the greater the risk of fire and explosion. These batteries have the potential to combust causing a thermal runaway incident that can be difficult to control. One of the most disturbing features of battery fires is that they can seemingly ignite or reignite days or weeks after they were understood to be extinguished! In the event of a fire, carcinogenic gasses, namely hydrogen fluoride as well as an even more lethal gas, phosphoryl fluoride are released into the atmosphere & are a danger to all living things. People who do survive after being severely injured by breathing in hydrogen fluoride may suffer lingering chronic lung disease. This could affect up to six miles of the surrounding area. So, who accepts Liability? It’s of little doubt that Sunnica & its investors will ringfence their liability into a single company, which in the event of a significant incident will simply be liquidated. Company director Adrian Mozas has dissolved at least 5 energy companies in the last 3 years. In the event of a catastrophic incident, does Sunnica have the adequate capital solvency to respond? I understand there is a deficit in both capital employed and shareholders funds & their 2020 public accounts show a working capital of -£317,851? The concerns I have are both personal and are likely to impact the wider community. • My wife is [Redacted]. What are the risks to first responders and the public from exposure to toxic fumes, if a fire or other incident were to occur? What would be the environmental impact? • [Redacted] attend the local school which is in close proximity to the sites. Is there a published evacuation plan? How do they plan to evacuate vulnerable less mobile residents? • Have firefighters been invited to the site to perform a planning review. How would firefighters handle a damaged battery that is still charged with power? • How do we balance the loss of arable farming land with the unacceptable risk of death that BESS poses? • Who will ensure maintenance and inspection schedules are being done & service over the lifetime of the project?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Clare Byrne
"I object to this application due to the sheer scale of the site being developed and it's proximity to so many houses, schools and businesses. Red Lodge only has 3 points of entry and exit into the village, 2 of which meet the A11. In the event of an evacuation these would need to be closed as these are the closest to the development, leaving 1 exit for the entire village. There are also 2 primary schools within the village and the evacuation zone should there be a fire. There is no way to safely leave the village on foot leaving many people trapped in the village, for example children, the elderly and the disabled. There are few business premises within the village but there are hundreds of self employed and small limited company businesses within the village, all run from home, including my own. In the event of an evacuation I would not only have to leave my home but also my business. If a fire were to spread to the village we could potentially lose our home, our children's school and our source of income in the same day. I agree that solar power is the way forward and we already have many solar farms in the area but the sheer size of this proposed development is in my opinion unsafe, it will destroy local wildlife and have a detrimental effect on farming in the local area. I also fear that our local emergency services are not large enough or equipped enough to deal with a large scale emergency at the site. House prices will drop and insurance costs will rise as soon as this planning is approved which will be detrimental to the booming housing industry and local economy. It may also leave many residents in negative equity. Sunnica have been invited to several meeting to address local concerns and have not attended. At the end of the day they are a business out to make money and they have no interest in local concerns. I don't believe they have done enough to address people's safety concerns or planned sufficiently for the decommissioning of the site at the end of it's life."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Coral Fuller
"Opposition of Sunnica Energy Farm on the scale intended. Impact on infrastructure due to multiple vehicles including HGVs during installation over a 2 year period leading to already congested roads being blocked. Destruction of large swathes of farmland within a farming community at a time when the country needs to become more self sufficient and produce home grown food resource. Destruction of wildlife habitats on a large scale in an area already largely impacted by housing developments causing displacement of wildlife into developed areas or onto main roads. Impact and blocking of foortpaths to the general public at a time when the mental health crisis has deepened. Being able to walk in the countryside and enjoy these views had a positive impact on those suffering with mental health and I firmly believe that the impact of the solar plant will deepen the crisis and undo the work done to improve mental health. Risk to lives regarding installation of lithium batteries close to a primary school in Red Lodge and no plans by Sunica regarding waste disposal or recycling during decommissioning. Risk of flooding which has been demonstrated in similar scale plants. All of the above are just some of the reasons I oppose this scheme."
Members of the Public/Businesses
D.J.T. Taylor
"I am a local farmer and some of my land is adjacent to part of the proposed development. Interests are: 1. Loss of arable land for crop production 2. Effect on local wildlife due to habitat loss 3. Proximity to Breckland SPA 4. Loss of local agricultural jobs 5. Radical change to the local, natural character of the landscape"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dale Hing
"I do not agree with the Sunnica Energy Farm development because: The development is primarily designed as an arbitrage scheme to buy, store and re-sell electricity to the National Grid for profit. The scheme will not be carbon neutral. The Cumulative Size of the scheme – effectively four individual large solar sites – is excessive, any outcomes and consequences of which – during construction, operation and decommissioning – are complete unknowns, there being no precedent for a scheme of this size in the UK. The scheme fails to fulfil points of the Governments Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, destroying not protecting the Natural Environment, landscape and ecosystems and making redundant existing jobs not creating more Green Jobs. The location is totally unsuitable – being home to ecologically sensitive areas, SSSI, AONB, NNR, Rivers, High Grade Agriculture Land, Conservation Areas, Scheduled Monuments, Rural Businesses and Homes – all of which will be destroyed and replaced by wholesale industrialisation of the countryside. The Change of Use from farm land. The Loss of productive agricultural land which is in constant rotational use for high yield crop production and livestock/bloodstock rearing. The Loss of Nationally important habitats for wildlife. The Loss of country side views across nationally important natural landscapes from properties adjoining sites/with views of the sites and from public viewpoints, roads, registered footpaths and bridleways adjoining/passing through sites, all of which are in constant use. The significant Loss of Amenity Use and Visual Impact affecting a far greater area than the boundaries of the scheme. The Negative affect on village settings The Effect on human physical and mental health The Effect on property values in the area The Closure of roads/footpaths/bridleways/green lanes, during construction/operation/removal and some permanently. The Noise/Light pollution and Traffic movements during construction/operation/removal of the panels/battery storage and continuously from inverters while facilities are operational. There is no evidence of any benefit to the local community demonstrated. Opposition to the Scheme throughout the locality averages over 95% of 40,000+ residents. Sunnica has: Exploited the requirements of a (NSIP) to ensure it cannot be challenged, turned down or resisted by local authorities and communities, undermining local democracy and demonstrating Sunnica’s contempt for the local community. Included parcels of land within the boundary of the scheme whose ownership was not identified prior to the Consultation, and is owned by individuals who have not been consulted by Sunnica. Threatened farmers and landowners with Compulsory Purchase Orders. Refused to engage meaningfully with the local community. Failed to address Safety concerns particularly regarding BESS locations. Failed to address Security concerns. Used outdated/decades old Grading to assess and classify Agricultural Farmland and refused permission for access, and/or to provide soil samples for an up to date Grading assessment. Failed to provide comprehensive information with errors/omissions, incomplete/misleading information in respect of: Solar panels and Battery stations (the size/scale/style/height above ground/aspect/angle/visibility etc). Roads, footpaths and other access points (the type/dimensions/lighting/heights of fencing/boundaries/access permitted). Field margins (the design/screening/hedging methods). Viewpoints (many significant viewpoints have been omitted)."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Derek Kuziw
"The size of the project and effect on the countryside and wild life. The using of good farm land for a project that could be set out in a more considered way and not by using land that can be used to grow food which inturn would help to cut imports and in turn have an effect on the carbon foot print of the UK."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Effie Brooks
"Impact on quality of life, mental health and above all physical safety"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Fred Handscombe
"- lack of real consultation due to COVID restrictions which Sunnica have taken full advantage of. The whole process should be reset to step 0 at a time when FULL and open public meetings can safely be held - the scale of the project is inappopriate for a rural and residential area - danger to life due to battery explosions - known risk being ignored - lack of long term respsonsibility and accountability for accidents - inappropriate development in a rural area - development far to close to residential properties whch include primary schools. There is no evacuation plan - inappropriate use of rich and fertile arable land. Plenty of non-productive land nearby that could be used. What do you expect people to eat. Oh yes imported food generating many miles of pollution - false promotion of solar. It is NOT the solution to removing carbon, its just a fad - solar panels generate much pollution at the source of raw materials and fabrication plus transporation pollution - The site has inappropriate roads and access in relation to the scale. Miuch danger to local roads - Removal of wild life habitat and open air public amenities that will not be replaced - Inappropriate increase in workers in the area with no suitable accomodation meaning more miles driven so more pollution. Nett positive pollution. No meaningful public transport in the area either - no plan to restore the area after the short lifecycle of solar panels. Abandonment is not acceptable - light and radio frequency pollution"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Garreth Evans
"I strongly feel this will have adverse effects on the wildlife, and area that we live in. It will cause the value of our property to decrease, leaving me out of pocket by thousands of pounds. If this was to go ahead, I’d land up with our property in negative equity, and with the way covid has already affected me and my wife with our jobs, we could even loose our house."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gemma Shaw
"Hello my name is Gemma, [Redacted] and live in the area. I’d like to put across please some concerns of the application. Solar, is, and number ones goal is to unharm the environment, the planet and species in it. How is this happening and that we be can assured this will happen. What are the parties intending on doing with the wildlife that is there, have they found arrangements for the animals or simply pushing them out of their habitats and hope for the best or no concern at all. Where are going? Wetland, withoutout our wetlands we will be prone to flooding on a mass scale distribution to the area this will change the impact of nature. Are they aware of the size of this for when this happens to be able to cover for damages and unconvince caused. Can we be assured it is safe and does not let off any type of radiation or if broken let off anything harmful ect on such a big scale and will not affect those living around in the future and their children are 100% safe. The ground, after this process is the ground then unusable to produced if needed for emergency food to roduce or will this taint the soil. Why is it so very big it? ‘Because it’s in the middle of nowhere? It’s not it’s up the road from bury st Edmunds Newmarket and Cambridge. Is the project 100% safe? And in 30 years time outer child will not have any other medical conditions due to this gigantic solar farm? The whole point in this is to save the planet but on such a large scale it is doing the opposite for the environment. I am completely a Green Party and agree with all measures possible to help this process. Is the energy collected only used in England or will this be sold off to other countries for profit. Therefore is just for making money the initial goal has gone and the people around it will have to deal with that. Does the community in catchment areas gain anything from this huge producer. Are house prices going to drop around it? My suggestion here is why is it so very large in just one specific area ‘it has to be somewhere’ well yes but why isn’t it spread out? Why can it not be spread out have wind turbines been considered these seem more natural friendly. People who live in the area behind all the paperwork will have to live by this. Have they got plans involved to let older generations know they are living in a 100 % safe area have they thought about people’s mental health and animals. Where are they giving them a new home? The prodject is far too big anyone living in the area actually had to live in it. The people reading these are not nessarioy living in it. I’d like to know to know this is 100% safe and if on a smaller scale would be considered. We don’t feel it’s fair to have it in one place when it benifit s no one around it. It will go on the grid and off shore and we have to deal with that. The country side is the country side eventually they’ll be no countryside. Is there an alternative such as wind turbines like I mentioned previously. Once this up this it’ll forever be gone. Can they be built on roofs to not harm the environment and animals. Is there any sort of law where animal and environment protection is envioved. Would they consider down sizing and compromising. Thankyou for having the time to read through my concerns I hope you can take into consideration all points made by people around the area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Geoffrey Dabrowa
"A terrible vandalisation of precious farmland. The huge size of this development means a tragic loss of invaluable farmland. It is known also that the solar panels are not anywhere near as efficient as is generally conceived. We depend on good farmland in this area, there are other sites available where the land is not good for farming."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jemma Sheedy
"I am concerned about the proximity of the battery storage areas to my house and the 2 primary schools in our village. Red Lodge is within a 4.5km radius of all 3 battery storage areas."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Joanne Cant
"I strongly oppose this application. I am not opposed to green energy or indeed solar farms. I oppose it due to the size, its location (which is far too close to villages & towns), the fact that they propose to use large lithium batteries to store energy which have been proven at other sites to be unsafe & if they catch fire can not be put out. The land that Sunnica wish to use is currently used to grow food, if we loose all this land we may have to import more food which in the long term creates more pollution & more carbon footprint. The loss of wildlife will be considerate & the impact on people living close by mental health will deteriorate. Many local people use these fields for walks & for some these walks were a lifeline during lockdown, Finally I am hugely concerned that not enough thought or provision has been made for when the solar panels come to their end of life. They contain dangerous materials & it will be my children's generation that are left to sort out the mess how they will be removed. This scheme is NOT a green energy scheme. There are other answers to obtaining green energy without causing such a dramatic loss of agricultural land, which quite frankly we need to keep for food to grow."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John James
"I own and have developed Brookside Stud in Badlingham and have been here for 15 years. This proposal runs right up to my boundary where we have high end mares and foals in the paddocks. I am the closest resident to the storage of the batteries which occupies a site larger than my stud. I have requested several times to SUNNICA about the safety and protocol about the batteries and the very high risk to me and my family and my business without any response from them. The impact this will have on me and my families mental health and the very real prospect of loosing our customers who feel it would be too much of a risk to board their Bloodstock so close to this ticking time bomb. It would see the collapse of my business and probably the loss of our home which would in effect be unsalable. The safety and siting of the battery site. The upheaval that the construction will have on me, my family and business. Also the unbelievable destruction of 2.5 thousand acres of valuable land that has produced good food to help feed our country for hundreds of years especially in today’s uncertainty of food / grain shortages, not what you would deem ‘Zero Carbon’ when we start importing more sustainable foods from around the globe."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Reali
"It is well documented that the lithium batteries used for storage on solar farms carry a grave risk. They have the potential to combust causing a thermal incident that is difficult to control. Explosions that can reach temperatures of 660C - even worse than the Beirut port blast. Fire crews cannot use traditional techniques to extinguish fires started by lithium-ion batteries. In the event of a fire the gasses released is dangerous to all living things and as this site sits extremely close to several villages is of great concern. Some gases released can be absorbed through the skin. By the time an alarm could be conveyed to the local population, it would already be too late for many local residents. I believe that this site is too large. In any case, these types of installations should be far away from any populated areas, so that if something was to go wrong with the site it would not be harmful to the public."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Sheedy
"My main concern is the battery storage units location. With them being so close to a large residential area as well as two primary schools it would not give the surrounding area adequate time in case of emergency to evacuate."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julian Flood
"The BESS technology is not specified. This means no assessment of safety, noise pollution etc can be made. The application should be withdrawn and resubmitted including battery technology details. The application vastly exaggerates the capacity factor of the solar technology, skewing the application towards the positive. The disruption of the villages by HGV movements is not mentioned, nor is mitigation of same. The HSE have refused to assess the dangers of fires in the BESS, particularly gas emissions/explosive potential.. This leaves inexpert councils to judge something they are not competent to deal with. The applicant should pay for an independent study in the public domain to do so and resubmit the application including these details. No independent assessment of land quality has been carried out. Those opposing the application should be given legally mandated access to carry out an unbiased assessment. JF"
Non-Statutory Organisations
Lark Angling and Preservation
"I would like to put some points on environmental issues regarding Sunnica East A and the River Kennet (Lea Brook). *The searching of historical records of the Environmental Agency data is not accurate enough to show the importance to fish stocks in the brook. In a space of 10 metres around the brook changes considerably either side the Beck Road bridge. It changes as habitat for different species. *Downstream of the Beck bridge (E05,E01 and E02)the area is an important spawning place for the River Lark fish. It is important to maintain this watercourse by removal of invasive Phragmites reeds. I am not assured that Sunnica will do this.This is an area with 3 species of endangered species. These are Bullhead, Spined Loach and Brook Lamprey. *Above the bridge Otters and Water Voles are in evidence and care must be taken in maintaining their habitat. These are in the area of E07. *The beck sampling appears to have been done in June and September in limited places. It will not show up fish spawning. February to May are peak spawning times as is the importance of this chalk bottomed beck. I also note ditches were dry when sampling was done in summer. These still may provide Great Crested Newt habitats. *I have evidence of water run off from land on the easterly field sides through two pipes. Origin of these is unknown. I have concerns from toxic fumes if there is a battery fire which will pollute this watercourse and the River Lark."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lea Dodds
"Overall, I support the project but have concerns about site management once the construction phase is complete and the project has been handed over to an operator. Consent for the Sunnica project must include specific requirements for the control of grass and weeds that grow beneath and around the solar panels. It seems to be the norm for developer to talk about grazing and other forms of natural weed/grass control when, in reality, they will default to using herbicides and/or regular mowing. Approval for the project should specify in detail how the land around the panels is to be managed for the growth of wild flowers. It is not enough for wild flower areas to be confined to peripheral designated areas. This is an opportunity to create thousands of acres of biodiverse, bee-friendly habitat. Another possibility is to specify weed/grass control by grazing as an acceptable alternative method of control, but that would be second best."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nicole Langstaff
"I do not agree with the Sunnica Energy Farm development because: The development is primarily designed as an arbitrage scheme to buy, store and re-sell electricity to the National Grid for profit. The scheme will not be carbon neutral. The Cumulative Size of the scheme – effectively four individual large solar sites – is excessive, any outcomes and consequences of which – during construction, operation and decommissioning – are complete unknowns, there being no precedent for a scheme of this size in the UK. The scheme fails to fulfil points of the Governments Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, destroying not protecting the Natural Environment, landscape and ecosystems and making redundant existing jobs not creating more Green Jobs. The location is totally unsuitable – being home to ecologically sensitive areas, SSSI, AONB, NNR, Rivers, High Grade Agriculture Land, Conservation Areas, Scheduled Monuments, Rural Businesses and Homes – all of which will be destroyed and replaced by wholesale industrialisation of the countryside. The Change of Use from farm land. The Loss of productive agricultural land which is in constant rotational use for high yield crop production and livestock/bloodstock rearing. The Loss of Nationally important habitats for wildlife. The Loss of countryside views across nationally important natural landscapes from properties adjoining sites/with views of the sites and from public viewpoints, roads, registered footpaths and bridleways adjoining/passing through sites, all of which are in constant use. The significant Loss of Amenity Use and Visual Impact affecting a far greater area than the boundaries of the scheme. The Negative affect on village settings The Effect on human physical and mental health The Effect on property values in the area The Closure of roads/footpaths/bridleways/green lanes, during construction/operation/removal and some permanently. The Noise/Light pollution and Traffic movements during construction/operation/removal of the panels/battery storage and continuously from inverters while facilities are operational. There is no evidence of any benefit to the local community demonstrated. Opposition to the Scheme throughout the locality averages over 95% of 40,000+ residents. Sunnica has: Exploited the requirements of a (NSIP) to ensure it cannot be challenged, turned down or resisted by local authorities and communities, undermining local democracy and demonstrating Sunnica’s contempt for the local community. Included parcels of land within the boundary of the scheme whose ownership was not identified prior to the Consultation, and is owned by individuals who have not been consulted by Sunnica. Threatened farmers and landowners with Compulsory Purchase Orders. Refused to engage meaningfully with the local community. Failed to address Safety concerns particularly regarding BESS locations. Failed to address Security concerns. Used outdated/decades old Grading to assess and classify Agricultural Farmland and refused permission for access, and/or to provide soil samples for an up to date Grading assessment. Failed to provide comprehensive information with errors/omissions, incomplete/misleading information in respect of: Solar panels and Battery stations (the size/scale/style/height above ground/aspect/angle/visibility etc). Roads, footpaths and other access points (the type/dimensions/lighting/heights of fencing/boundaries/access permitted). Field margins (the design/screening/hedging methods). Viewpoints (many significant viewpoints have been omitted)."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Olivia Davison
"• I am [Redacted]. What are the risks to first responders and the public from exposure to toxic fumes, if a fire or other incident were to occur? What would be the environmental impact? • [Redacted] attend the local school which is in close proximity to the sites. Is there a published evacuation plan? How do they plan to evacuate vulnerable less mobile residents? • Have firefighters been invited to the site to perform a planning review. How would firefighters handle a damaged battery that is still charged with power? • How do we balance the loss of arable farming land with the unacceptable risk of death that BESS poses? • Who will ensure maintenance and inspection schedules are being done & service over the lifetime of the project?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Pete Burgess
"I have concerns regarding the evac plans for surrounding villages in the event of runaway thermal fire, the construction traffic onan already overloaded local road network and the environmental/agricultural impact if there should be a fire. There have been no representatives from developers at local meetings to answer any questions."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rupert Osborn
"It is my belief that this proposal is unsustainable and will damage the rural environment by using valuable arable land that should be used for growing food. The proposed battery storage facilities are too close to major residential housing and the dangers asssociated with battery storage have not been adequately mitigated. This scheme is designed to effectively trade electricity by buying off peak from the grid and then selling it back at peak rates. The solar farm element will not produce the anticipated levels of energy through the winter months when energy use is in high demand. This scheme is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and should be refused."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ryan Bell
"Solar power is the way forward for the UK, and is an important system to irradicating the use of Fossil fuels. The planned Sunnica solar farm is not the answer. The pay back from construction, harm to the environment and location of the farms simply out weigh the "sustainability" of the project. Furthermore there has been little interaction from Sunnica with residents to get their views, and notes from meetings detail how they simply do not attend, or provide adequate answers to issues raised. Having battery cells so large that an evacuation plan is required for local villages is disastrous and should be the haulting point of this application. For instance, Red Lodge has been a development site for years, and as such welcomes young families with two schools, local sports clubs and a vibrant community spirit, through promoting affordable housing and a commuter belt to Norwich, Cambridge and London. Sunnica will stop surrouding villages being attractive, and will have many implications on families; mainly health and financial due to the crashing house prices. I extremely oppose the Sunnica plans, and find the whole approach from Sunnica as careless, reckless and extremely selfish. Residents should be first in this application, and the approach from Sunnica clearly demonstrates their lack of understanding and care for the local communities."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Samantha Bell
"I am very concerned about the plans for Sunnica site. The location near built up family areas including schools in close proximity to the proposal is not were I think Sunnica should be looking to erect this. I am deeply concerned about evacuation plans being successful with the population we have, along side any health implications it could cause for my family if anything was to go wrong. As a sustainable project the construction phase and harm to the environment caused by Sunnica will counter act the sustainability of this project. There has been little interaction with local residents which I find concerning as views and concerns have not been voiced properly which could result in damaging the local community."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Simon Trett
"The loss and destruction of the country side. The excessive amount of traffic on an already congested road network. Using valuable land, that is needed for Crops. Panels can be placed on buildings instead The loss of valuable fields for much needed home grown produce. The thought of having a massive impact on the environment. The massive clean up after its used. The amount of un recyclable items left to be disposed off."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Thomas Davison
"The representations I have are both personal and likely representative of the wider community. I have family in the area who have [Redacted], children who attend the local school which is in close proximity to the sites. [Redacted]. What are the risks to first responders and the public from exposure to toxic fumes if a fire or other incident were to occur? What is the impact on the environment? Are there a published evacuation plans? How do they plan to evacuate vulnerable less mobile residents? Have fire fighters been invited to site to perform a planning review? How would firefighters handle a damaged battery that is still charged with power? How would Firefighters manage Thermal Runaway in the Batteries? Will Paramedics carry sufficient respiratory equipment to manage people with breathing difficulty? Who will ensure maintenance and inspection schedules are being adhered to & the site maintained over lifetime of the project? Who will ensure that the land will be reclaimed to the pre-solar farm levels of wilderness or productivity? Have any alternative sites closer to the intended recipients (London) been reviewed for suitability with less environmental impact of running power lines from the solar farm to the substation 10 miles away? How do we balance the loss of valuable arable farming land with the unacceptable risk of death that BESS pose?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tracy Colbert
"Too close to schools, no proper evacuation plan for when the battery catches fire. The roads round here aren’t fit for purpose and that’s before all the extra lorry’s. House prices will do down."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Trevor Layn
"I disagree with the application for the following reasons: 1) The site is completely unsuitable due to it's Proximity to Housing, Businesses and Schools. 2) Complete lack of Evacuation Plan for the above in event of Battery Fire. 3) No availability of suitable emergency services such as Specialist Fire Fighting Teams and Equipment to be able to deal with a major incident. 4) Unknown and unanswered questions relating to Health risks to people residing in the immediate area. 5) No detail to who would be held accountable in the event of a major incident."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew James Cornell
"the scheme is too big. we have never had all the information from sunnica. we have learned from our consultants what is actually proposed. we live in a very rural area and all we will see for miles are solar panels and batteries"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Emma Sharp
"- Unacceptable landscape and heritage impact, coalescing several historic villages and removing their agricultural landscape which contributes to their historic significance as well as damaging the historic landscape which has surrounded them. Furthermore, the nature of the landscape within the locality does not lend well to large scale solar due to the small field sizes and historic hedgerows. An enormous amount of cabling will be required which will have a further detrimental effect on the historic landscape. - Loss of agricultural land. It would not support the rural economy. The notion that grazing sheep underneath the panels would assist is incorrect it would create a mono-culture, notwithstanding that sheep will be difficult to monitor. Land use would be restricted for c25years. Furthermore, there is no information regarding the decommissioning of the solar farm. - Construction traffic management will cause significant amenity effects to the residents within the villages. Dust, HGV movement, access requirements etc. The road system is already constrained and given the narrow lanes which connect the villages around the Site any construction traffic will be detrimental."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Genevra Champion
"Impact on wildlife and the permanent loss of viable (and currently used) agricultural land. The detrimental impact on quality of life (noise pollution, congestion, increased traffic, damage to road surfaces) while the construction work is underway. The devaluing of my home / the whole of Red Lodge. The limited environmental benefit of the energy farm (in real terms) given the lifespan of the panels. The risk to life (human and animal) if a disastrous accident occurs given the scale of the energy farm."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kevin Hempson
"I fully understand that the UK needs to create renewable energy and as such utilising sunlight through solar panels within solar farms is something which has to happen. I’m therefore not against solar farms, however I am against the Sunnica Energy Farm for the following principle reasons: 1. The scale of the project is simply too big, and it’s site is situated too close to many villages; 2. The risk of a fire at the proposed solar farm, and how this could impact many villages has not been considered enough by Sunnica, and I actually think Sunnica are dismissive of the actual risk. By simple research I’ve found there have been a number of fires at large solar farms, and consequently this suggests the risk is significant and if that were to happen at the proposed Sunnica site it would be a danger to life; 3. The proposed site will result in many acres of high quality arable land being made inactive to accommodate the solar panels and batteries. This goes against the whole logic of the UK being self-sufficient, and actually creates negative impacts to the environment as the crops lost from this land not being available will have to be imported instead and that creates negative environmental factors. Also here, the impact of Brexit and the COVID Pandemic creates a need for the UK to become more self-sufficient, so to enter into a project which creates the exact opposite impact is so counter-productive. There are many other reasons why the Sunnica project should not go ahead, for example scientific ones which argue solar isn’t the best way to create energy. I’m not knowledgeable enough about these reasons so it would be very difficult for me to make representations in that respect, even though the reasons are valid."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Leslie Wightman
"1. Taking valuable agricultural land out of production. 2. Safety of the battery systems is far from satisfactory and a danger to health in the event of a fire. 3. The provision to be made for reinstatement of the land after the useful life of the installations is over. 4. Lack of proper consultation. 5. Lack of clarity on who will own and operate the installation during it’s lifetime. 6. Disruption to the localities during construction. 7. Ditto during it’s lifetime. 8. Change to the whole area’s characteristics and amenities for the foreseeable future."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Margaret Cornell
"Too large Taking valuable farm land Intrusive in construction Destroying wildlife Using panels probably made with ‘slave labour ‘ in China Difficulty in recycling panels in 40 years Ruining countryside views Not the best form of green energy,,, Etc I am totally against this project *It will alter our area for ever *the construction over 2 yers will be devastating to us *im concerned about the safety of the lithium batteries in Burwell ...fire danger and toxic fumes * Its far too big...overwhelming our small villages *Im concerned about losing valuable farm land which may force us to import more goods...WE need to be self sufficient (its ridicuous tocall it 'green') *The deconstruction and disposing of the panels is hugely difficult * importing from china very bad..culd be using slave labour * no value to us locally . Only valuable to the constructors *Im concerned about damage to wildlife * the value of our properties will be damaged for ever *It will not shrik our carbon footprint"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs GJ Preece
"I object with all my might and main to the building of this gigantic solar far on land in East Cambs and west Suffolk using land used for food production. It will alter the life in villages around for years to come. It seems totally irrisponsiblw."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Lowe
"The scale and closeness to homes make this proposal completely unacceptable. It is not a solar farm. It is a huge industrial plant that, if approved, would dominate and change the nature of what is a pleasant rural area. We move to live here 30+ years ago to enjoy the wildlife and a country lifestyle. That all that we have worked for could be destroyed and the lives of our neighbours massively disrupted for the benefit of a few already wealthy families is distressing and would be grossly unfair. There are potential sites, well away from villages, where solar panels could be located if the case can be made for the large-scale use of this technology."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Vanessa Kovacevic
"A). The farm will take too much good quality farmland out of use B) The location of the main battery complex is far too close to Red Lodge and any fire would mean the complete evacuation of the expanding village and pollute the local groundwater. As a [Redacted] that would cause immense problems for me. The battery complex needs to be much further away from residential areas."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alexandra Hunt
"I am concerned about the safety of local residents in relation to the risk of battery fires. I am concerned that the size of batteries has not been specified and that rather than genuine eco friendly production of power, this unspecified battery capacity will be used for profiteering from electricity trading. I am concerned that the land in this project is excellent farming land which will be lost when other more suitable locations could be used. We have already had food shortages and rising food prices. I am concerned about the disposal of the infrastructure at the end of its useful life. I am concerned that the land will take generations to return to health after the use of the land in this way. I am concerned about the loss of natural beauty and wildlife in this huge area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Donald MacBean
"My wife & I have lived in Worlington for 22 years. We know nobody in Worlington who is not in favour of renewable energy & solar panels in particular. But neither do we know anyone in Worlington who is in favour of the Sunnica Proposal; there are 2 reasons - FEAR & SCALE. I attended the Public Meetig held in Isleham on 15th October, chaired by out MP Matt Hancock, & attended by the MP for East Cambs, Lucy Frazer. The scientific evidencee presented to the meeting about how untried & unsafe the tecnology of the Proposal is was scarifying, especially for people in their mid 80s. Both MPs supported the scientific evidence & commented that it was shameful that Sunnica did not send a represetative to the meeting. So, there is real fear in the village. Fear also comes from the shear SCALE of the project. Green Lane, a unique natural area on the edge of the village (no car needed) will be destroyed with the virtual total loss of habitat, birds & other wild life & insects. I am not an expert ornothologist but I have counted 43 species of birds in the Worlington end of Green Lane. The loss of the Lane would be tragic. On 1st December 2021 it was announced that 25% of British birds are now on the Red List of endangered species. In January 2022 The Governmet announced a proposal to replace the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with a National Land Management Scheme (NLMA). At the heart of the NLMA is improved farming techniques & the restoring of lost habitat or Rewilding - Rewilding not destruction of more precious habitat. At COP 26 The Government, acknowledging the perilous situation of the planet, committed itself to such enlightend & vital policies that are necessary for the survival of the planet. The Sunnica Proposal is in direct contradiction of these Government poicies. Yes, renewable energy is vital to save the planet but when the scheme will inflict the vast amount of damage to the environment that this Proposal will inflict it becomes counter productive. Please do not allow this to happen. Please abandon this Proposal or break it uo into managable units that will not have the devasting impact of the Proposal as it stands. And of course there is also the immense human toll that the proposal will inflict on all reridents, travellers to the area & people & companies trying to do business in the area - road chaos for years, noise & light pollution & economic disaster are but three of the inevitable horrors that will result. The overriding catastrophe is that a large area of Easrt Anglia, as we know it, will be destroyed forever inflicting immesurable human & economic suffering. Please do not alloow this to happen. Donald MacBean"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Emily Fishpool
"The scale is too big, the long term effects on the local landscape have not been considered, inadequate planning for implementation, environmental concerns for area of outstanding Natural beauty, battery safety, waste of prime agricultural land and employment that goes with it, unwanted by ALL local population"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Fahmy Fayez Fahmy
"I object for the following reasons Destruction of food producing farmland Loss of wild life Massive HGV Traffic to the detriment of health and well being"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lisa Hagen
"Loss of agricultural land for future generations. Concern over storage of massive batteries and impact on environment. The pressure of local infrastructure when undertaking the work. Loss of a green landscape for my family. The imports of materials and the negative carbon effect to do this goes against ‘green energy’ i am objecting to Sunnica I disagree with the change in use from perfectly good agric land to feed the nation I am concerned for the negative impact on the local environment for my family I am concerned about the quality of life if the building of the site goes ahead I am against the batteries and what we don't know about the impact and the safety concerns surrounding it I don't want to ruin the countryside and landscape for my family and the future generations - too much land is taken for housing as it is I want people to use the outside to improve their mental health - sunnica would destroy any chance of this"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Liz Reed
"This is in totally the wrong place taking up vital farm land and being built near stud farms which are historic in the areas close to Newmarket. The farmland is needed for food and agriculture requirements"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mark Alford
"Sunica plans to get the licence to build this Factory and then sell the rights on. They have USA backers who are funding their application and are in fact a technically insolvent business. Profiteering, they care not for the loves, homes and environment they seek to destroy in the name of profit. Their consultancy and advice has been woefully inadequate and their arrogance, unbelievable. The area around Worlington and up to Isleham will be devastated. House prices will plummet as the community we live in damaged beyond repair. The size and scale of this project is simply too big, too damaging and effects too many innocent and caring people. The loss of valuable farm and agricultural land to fields and field of mirrors. Wildlife and fauna will be adversely affected as the ecology changes caused by heat gain, manufactured air and wind flow. Lastly, our road systems and transport mechanism will not withstand the volume of site traffic. Freckenham, Isleham, chippenham and Worlington are all small but closely connected villages and all will be impacted by Sunnicas planned battery farm. If this goes ahead we face years of traffic chaos. Traffic, heavy vehicles and untold overhead on our roads, homes and village life. Sunnica seem completely careless of this and are not even willing to listen or consult. This video link to the parliamentary debate tells a better story. [redacted] In simple terms the loss of farm land. Environmental impact. House price values destroyed and disruption on a scale never seen before. This scheme is beyond comprehension in scale and dangerous. Yes to solar no to battery farms!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mark Hawley
"I object to the Sunnica proposal, the main reasons for my objection are The size of the proposal is to vast , the impact it will have on the surrounding villages, turning fertile land into an industrial site, the variety of wildlife including nesting birds like stone curlews that will be disturbed and ejected from their annual nesting, the potential issues surrounding the safety of batteries and the risk of fire and subsequent poisonous pollutants, the fact that it is more of a moneymaking exercise that adding to the countries net zero policy"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michaela Wick
"I am incredibly anxious and concerned about the health of the thousands living nearby; both physical health. Physical health due to the reduction in nature, increased traffic, dangerous batteries. I am also hugely concerned about the mental health of those having their homes destroyed, nature destroyed, the inevitable increase in price of produced due to less land to grow on and the worry added from living near such a dangerous site."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Olivia Pitts
"I believe this development will be detrimental to the UK as a whole by removing valuable agricultural land at a time when the country faces uncertainty about food production for the nation. It will also have an enormous impact on the wildlife and bird populations of the area and may well be unsafe because of storage battery failures. This is a vast industrial project in a rural setting with insufficient guarantees of ecologically sound power generation."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Orsolya Dianovics-Burns
"We are a family of 5, living in Red Lodge since 2017 and love this area. Mainly we moved here because of the farmland around us and the countryside. The solar farm’s present would take away the beauty of this farm land and would destroy the wildlife. The toxic fumes from the solar is life threatening for ourselves, children's , pets and every living creature around us. Me and my family are completely against to the farm now and in the future as well. We’re a family with 3 young children, recently moved to Suffolk and we love this countryside, seeing the farmland being worked on, going for long walks. I’m worried about the emissions from the construction equipment, the excess contraction traffic travelling through our villages, the potential pollution of a hazardous fire, the loss of the farmland which we could put in a better use of serving the community with the produce. Also it’s going to affect the house prices and will deter people to move into the area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Smith
"My interest is that of a former farmer and committed environmentalist, who understands the need for this Country to achieve it's target to develop alternative methods of electricity generation, to meet carbon neutrality targets set by it's Government. I fully understand that the land involved was previously put to arable use, and the project has received objections from local farming interests. It must be possible to use solar panels with cells that have wider divisions between them, to allow some sunlight to pass through the panels without reducing the generating capacity, yet giving dappled light to the ground beneath. While the ground below could not be used for growing the original corn crops, for obvious reasons, it could be used for fruit crops such as raspberries and currants, or even root crops grown in straw bales."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sally Hempson
"I am not opposed to renewable solar energy, and I am not an expert in this field, however I do have 3 main concerns about the proposed Sunnica Energy Farm. 1. The size of this proposed development of over 2500 acres at over 12 times the current largest facility built. It will also be very close to houses within the surrounding villages. 2. It will take away prime arable land and at a time when the country is facing food shortages, following our exit from the European Union and the COVID pandemic , this does not seem a sensible thing to be doing. If we need to import our food from overseas then this adds to our carbon footprint. It would be far more sensible to build solar farms on Brownfield sites. Solar panels could also be put onto factory buildings, large warehouses, supermarkets and all new homes being built should have solar panels installed on their roofs. 3. The size of the battery stores, to store the electricity are going to be the size of shipping containers, Sunnica did not answer the questions put to them about the safety of these stores and the danger of them to the villagers should they catch alight. Once ablaze they emit toxic fumes and the threat is real as there have been several fires in battery stores in recent years. These are too close to the houses in the village and also 2 primary schools would be affected should this happen."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sally Hughes
"As a long-term resident of Chippenham I am very concerned about the Sunnica proposal. My key concerns are about the vast size of the development, its impact on fertile agricultural land, the storage of BESS batteries and their proximity to residential areas. The development of the site will create significant additional vehicles movements on small rural roads that are not built or maintained to support this extra traffic. The impact on existing ecology and wildlife will be significant. I support sustainable energy but do not agree that this is a safe and appropriate scheme for this area. I also question whether it is actually a 'green solution' given the carbon footprint that is created to install the site and then the loss of agricultural land from an area known as the bread-basket of England."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Steven Gladwin
"As a resident with a young family who will be living on the edge of this dangerous power plant we have not been provided with sufficient information to be adequately consulted about the Sunnica proposal. My family and I live in West Row, Suffolk. It is our ‘forever home’ with our 2 young boys and we have been put under a lot of undue stress, uncertainty and fear with the proposed Sunnica scheme to destroy wildlife, the countryside, destroy productive arable land and our right to grow a locally sourced food supply and be self-sufficient. They will also put 40,000 human beings lives at risk from the massive battery plant that has history in other countries of massive lithium ion BESS explosions and fires. These are at plants nowhere near the scale of this proposed one. My family and I are all for renewable, wind and solar power energy but not so close to people, breaching their right to not live in fear. These solar and battery plants can be built offshore on industrial roofs or further away from human life. Sunnica say their solar energy scheme will have 78 acres of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS). The batteries used will be lithium ion batteries, which are known to be unstable. How will the local communities be protected from these potentially lethal batteries? The lithium ion batteries are susceptible to thermal runaway causing fires and explosions, such as that on Carnegie Road, Liverpool on September 15th, 2020. They have been banned in US states such as Arizona due to the unacceptable risk they pose. Never in the UK has there been BESS’s proposed on this scale and so close to villages. The fumes given off in these fires contain highly toxic hydrogen fluoride. When consumed at high levels, this gas can lead to death, at lower levels it goes quickly and easily through the skin into the body tissues. Sunnica has not provided any mitigation plans with regards to safety. Cambridgeshire and Suffolk Fire and Rescue have not been consulted. Some batteries units will be 10 metres high including their air conditioning units and will therefore be very visible despite screening measures The dust given off through construction could be bad for people living with lung conditions including asthma and COPD. The stress caused by this proposal for locals is huge due to battery dangers, housing prices falling and a noisy and disruptive construction phase. The removal of footpaths and the ugliness of the panels will mean people are less likely to take exercise and enjoy the local countryside, which has been so important to many, especially in the recent months of lockdown. The proposed site has several birds of national significance, one Annex 1 (the Stone-Curlew) and 5 WCA schedule 1 bird species. The site is also close to seven international, nine national and 31 locally designated sites for nature conservation and therefore the disturbance of the 2 years of construction and 40 years of solar panels will have a vast impact on our long-term ecosystems and bio-diversity. Sunnica’s proposed mitigation for most wildlife begins after the 2 years of construction, meaning irreparable damage will have already been done? How will this important wildlife be protected? Sunnica would be Europe's largest solar farm, spanning 1,130 hectares (2,792 acres) around encasing villages near Newmarket, Suffolk, and Fordham Cambridgeshire. The affected villages and number of populations impacted- Isleham 2300, Worlington 526, Freckenham 344, Chippenham and Badlingham 517, Snailwell 224, West Row 2854, Fordham 2712, Burwell 6309, and comes very close to schools in Red Lodge 3834, and edges onto Mildenhall 21098. (Total impact- 40,718 people). Just putting panels on just 10% of UK manmade water -bodies could reduce our carbon emissions by 4.5%. The cooling effect could make the panels 10% more efficient. This scheme will take 2,792 acres of versatile, irrigated, high yielding farmland out of production. o The majority of schemes of this size are located in deserts. Never before has a scheme like this been so close to villages and consumed so much agricultural land. Why have Sunnica chosen to locate the industrial solar scheme here? o This scheme will be three times bigger than any other scheme in the UK. Why does it have to be so big? o The scheme is stating that the land they are taking is poor quality agricultural land. On what have Sunnica based this conclusion? It is incorrect. The land is productive, and is currently growing potatoes, carrots, onions, parsnips, sugar beet, milling, malting barley, and rye. o The 1988 Agricultural Land Classifications maps show that large amounts of the farmland included in this scheme fall into class 2 and 3a, which classifies it as ‘best and most versatile land’. Under existing planning policy guidelines best and most versatile land should be protected for arable production not covered by solar panels. Sunnica has not been prepared to make public during this consultation period their land survey results, which is of great concern to us. I understand the government’s stance and commitment for us to take the lead and be Carbon neutral and ironically we could do this in other ways like producing crops on our green and pleasant land that can be burned for energy, whereas Sunnica solar panel and lithium battery power plant is unlikely to be carbon neutral over its lifetime and may even be carbon positive! I appeal to you to do all you can to oppose these inhumane plans"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alasdair John Macrae
"Excessive use of land Dangers of equipment and facilities being installed Risks during construction process Removal of green areas for local walls and exercise Reduction in value of local properties"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anthony Speed
"As a local in the village of Isleham I would like to register to my interest as this project will destroy local wildlife for decades, all at the aim of corporate greed and no benefit to the local community. It’s too big and inefficient, but more importantly it will kill the local wildlife landscape and vital arable land. The financials are terrible and lithium batteries are unsafe - it’s just not commercially viable. The money could be invested into brown field sites, off shore or the thousands of south facing industrial buildings in the country to apply solar panels to drive output."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Berbank Green
"Along with the many other reasons that Sunnica is a bad idea that can be found on dedicated internet sites and I'm sure in many emails and petitions, I'd just like to add/reinforce this one: We are on the cusp of having much more economic and efficient solar panels from companies like Tesla. These panels can and are being installed as replacements for roofs and roof surfaces and have almost zero impact on the environment. They allow each owner to be in control of their power supply and not at the dictates of a centralised company with dubious moral fibre. The power generated on roofs has a tiny distance to go to appliances or batteries and therefore is far more cost effective than a centralised power generation system that then has to distribute to clients. The system (local, house generated and owned solar power, not necessarily Tesla) also adds to power security locally and would act as a beacon of future thinking governmental innovation if supported. See what is going on in Australian and new builds in pockets of America already for examples. Examples that generate interest growth and hope in the area. The only reason to go ahead with the Sunnica deal is a short term economic one for one company and whoever they have in their influence. A long term, environmentally friendly solution which gives the public control over their own power with better efficiency, lower cost and with the possibility of feeding excess power back to the grid intelligently is literally less than a year away. The Sunnica proposal is a poorly thought out with far more downsides than upsides and most people can see that. Please act for the long term good of the people and the planet, and not the short and long term profitability of one company. Thank you, Berbank Green. Along with the many other reasons the Sunnica is a bad idea that can be found on dedicated internet sites and I'm sure in many emails and petitions, I'd just like to add/reinforce this one: We are on the cusp of having much more economic and efficient solar panels from companies like Tesla. These panels can and are being installed as replacements for roofs and roof surfaces and have almost zero impact on the environment. They allow each owner to be in control of their power supply and not at the dictates of a centralised company with dubious moral fibre. The power generated on roofs has a tiny distance to go to appliances or batteries and therefore is far more cost effective than a centralised power generation system that then has to distribute to clients. The only reason to go ahead with the Sunnica deal is a short term economic one for one company and whoever they have in their pocket. A long term, environmentally friendly solution which gives your public control over their own power with better efficiency, lower cost and with the possibility of feeding excess power back to the grid intelligently is literally a year away."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Campbell Victor Pearson
"Size and scale,inefficiencies inherent in the scheme against loss of productive farmland. No benefit to local community combined with inadequate information on decommissioning and battery fire risk. Just a moneymaking scheme to benefit private shareholders with no consideration to the lasting impact on the environment and local population."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Cecelia Hawley
"My chief concerns are the effect on wildlife and the environment; the use of good quality arable land that is very productive and the unsuitability of the siting of the Battery storage systems proposed. The wildlife here includes many birds- Stone curlews, Lapwings, buzzards, red kites and many migratory birds that use the fields as a stopping point such as eider ducks, Goldeneyes, and Egyptian geese to name a few. The local river- The Lark- is a rare chalk river and again attract much wild life. The fields locally grow a wide variety of crops including wheat, barley, onions, maize and sugar beet- it also supports hares, rabbits and deer- signs of good fertile land. The battery storage is deemed unsuitable to site close to schools and a fire could be disastrous for very many villages and indeed the main arterial road in the region the A11."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Carnaghan
"The Sunnica project would blight many acres of land good for agriculture (or silviculture)."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Lee-McCloud
"Too big Too close to villages Battery units too large and unsafe with regards to fire. Battery units too close to homes and schools in case of fire. Sunnica does not intend to add to National Grid but plans to sell power to highest bidder overseas, allegedly. There has been insufficient consultation. Sunnica have not attended meetings in Isleham, despite the effects on the village of their plans, and they did not answer questions on the Zoom meetings. The boundaries of the plan keep changing. The scheme will remove huge areas of prime farmland, and leave it contaminated and not suitable for return to agriculture. There is the risk of contamination and damage to the chalk aquifer that supplies much of our region. Damage to wildlife and loss of rare species, with totally inadequate mitigation measures. The battery farms are placed too close to homes and schools. They are a proven fire risk and the plan does not include sufficient information about how fires will be avoided or controlled. This scheme is 11 times bigger than any other working scheme in UK and built around our villages so will cause risk to life. The loss of farmland will result in job losses and it will not be suitable to return to farmland at the end of the scheme so our village life will be lost forever and become industrial land. How will the solar panels and other infrastructure be disposed of at the end of the scheme? Is the plan environmentally friendly? What will the next generation inherit in terms of clear-up? It will not benefit the locals as energy will be stored and sold abroad and will create job losses and loss and damage to countryside permanently."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Peachey
"The whole thing is too large taking away valuable farming land which is some of the best in England. Far too near houses with the chance of batteries catching fire and exposing people to toxic fumes The land on witch they plan to use is some of the best arable land in the country, with all that is going on in the world we need food so why use up all this good land. The battery units are to big and be a danger if something happen to them,also to close to residential areas"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dinah Dorling
"How would you like the thought of these batteries in your area , and it’s a vast area why do we in suffolk have to accommodate these batteries, don’t get me wrong I don’t mind the solar part. Who’s getting the back handers please let me know"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Doreen Carrington
"Sunnica is too big, will blight our villages for many years to come, it is much too close to residential areas, is not environmentally friendly as we will have to import more food. We are extremely worried about the safety aspect ie the huge batteries and the risk of fire and toxic fumes, our home is only 200 yards from the intended site, we have a population of 2,500 in our village and a primary school. This is extremely good, fertile farmland, which in the 45 years we have lived here, has always grown good crops, it is not the place for a solar park."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Esmee Bloomfield
"I am concerned about the safety of the battery storage. I am also concerned about the value of my house dropping."
Members of the Public/Businesses
H Carrington
"Concerns... *Impact on wildlife *Losing lots of the best farming land in the country *Battery fires and closeness of these batteries to communities, would like input from the fire service on this *The huge amount of carbon footprint produced to construct this ridiculously massive project *THE SIZE OF THIS PROJECT? WHY SO HUGE?!!!! *[Redacted] involvement with Sunnica also needs to be looked at Please don't ruin our green and pleasant land, there are many places ugly solar panels could be built, on new builds etc, arable land is not a suitable place ??"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Heidi Phillips Klemp
"I would like to ask that you consider reducing in size the planned solar installation. Whilst a new form of energy is needed we must also take into consideration the use of fertile farmland and the proximity of the solar plant to the villages within the surrounding area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hilary Durrant
"Wrongly place No consultations Dangerous storage to near human life wildlife Views on sunnica farm unacceptable Prime farm land Encasing villages into a power plant Batter storage"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jacqueline Burke
"I have serious concerns about the amount of HGV and other traffic that this proposal will generate as a result of construction and ongoing maintenance. This is a rural area with many narrow winding roads. Many of them have no footpaths which means that residents have to walk in the road. In my own case, as a resident of East View, this involves walking in the road around an extremely hazardous double bend at the junction of North Street, Elms Road and Mildenhall Road. There are already many occasions when I’ve had to virtually climb into the hedge, as there isn’t even a grass verge, to avoid being run down by vehicles that don’t know the road and are travelling too fast. For some of my neighbours who are elderly, or who have children or dogs it is even more hazardous. Without being able to negotiate this junction safely we are left with no alternative than to use cars for every short journey between our homes and all of the village amenities (the church, the pub, the recreation ground and children’s playground and the village hall). It is imperative that none of the traffic associated with this development should be permitted to use this dangerous junction to access the various sites. If you allow this to happen, you will need to shoulder the responsibility of a serious, perhaps fatal accident. In addition to the danger to pedestrians, there is also a danger to car drivers. Elms Road in particular is used by many other drivers as a rat run and they exit the A11 and continue to drive as if they are still on it. When you get a large vehicle coming in the opposite direction, you are forced to move right over onto the verge to avoid losing your wing mirror (something that many of us have experienced). As a result of this the edges of the road is, like many others in the area, badly eroded. This then results in dangerous pot holes and causes further damage to vehicles and danger to drivers. It is imperative that none of the traffic associated with this development should be permitted to use Elms Road to access the various sites."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jan Stewart
"1. To challenge the appropriateness and financial adequacies and robustness of the legal company set up specifically for this application 2. To challenge the adequacies and competencies of the company executives forming the company who are making the application 3. To challenge the environmental and sustainability claims made by the company undertaking this application from global sourcing, through manufacture of components, shipping, deployment, use and ultimately retirement, dismantlement and waste 4. To challenge the appropriateness and completeness of the biodiversity considerations in this application 5. To challenge the need for this application and whether it outweighs, on balance and principal, the alternative proposal that solar panels are mandated on new builds including commercial units going forward, where land has already been sacrificed 6. To challenge the adequacies of consideration for the cumulative affect of solar panel farms on this scale and in this location in conjunction with existing and additional plans over the next 25 year period 7. To challenge the adequacies of research done into health and safety risk, including welfare in relation to solar farms on this size and scale. 8. To challenge the impact on local wildlife, including rare and protected species 9. To challenge the impact on local communities, throughout all stages of development, use and dismantlement."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jon Burns
"This proposed development is not going to benefit the local community and is more likely to rip the heart out of it. The danger of the lithium batteries and possibility of uncontrollable fire combined with the emission of noxious fumes will harm myself my wife and out [Redacted] children. In addition the possibility of the damage that it will cause to the price properties in the zone will have a financial impact on us. In truth I am not a NIMBY but I do not want this here. There are other places that this could be installed with more benefits in less habited places."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Josie Skillen
"I feel that Sunnica must NOT build use Chippenham area for their solar farm. I have read very good information showing that this would have a very dangerous and negative impact on this area. Any operation of this kind needs to be seriously much further away from where people are living their lives! This is prime arable land and used for folk to live holistically. Locally towards Thetford there is land owned by armed forces. Used in past for target practice etc! Sheep wander there now! I think it was probably more distant from population. There must be more suitable brown sites a distance from populated areas re the storage facilities?? I cannot for the life of me see why these companies persisting trying to use beautiful land to make money!! The need for power is obvious! This company is reliant on my money from the government to destroy beauty and bring danger to me and my family and friends ! The fear and the mental health destruction doesn’t bear thinking about. I hope common sense prevails!!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kieran Coffey
"My representation as a local resident will include the following points: Environmental impact on local area (plants, animals, insects) Decommissioning and disposal of solar plant at end of life, including storage batteries. Scale and size of proposal is unsuitable for the proposed area. Impact on local traffic and villages. Safety hazard from storage batteries (fire risk and impact). Removal of agricultural land which is vital for food production."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Leila Hindmarsh
"I object strongly to this application on the following grounds: - loss of valuable productive farm land - proximity to villages - size of the proposal - use of unproven and possibly unsafe new battery technology - poor communication and consultation from Sunnica - this is not in any way a sustainable green project - better alternatives for energy production in UK"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Linda Homan
"This scheme is ill thought through. It encases 8 villages with solar. It occupies good agricultural land. It plans 50 acres (spread out) of batter storage containing lithium-Ion batteries which are not yet safety tested at this large scale. It means that wherever the public enter these local villages they will see nothing but solar panels and this will negatively impact their mental health. The solar will be in place for 40 years. There will be children who may never see these fields in their youth, due to the length of time this profit making venture will be in place. This is not a scheme that will benefit the community who have to suffer the negative effects or loss of farmland, loss of views and fields to walk through or beside. This venture is for profit makers/shareholders. The land is precious as there are rare Roman finds. There are protected birds such as the Woodcock who nest in these areas. All of the greenfield land being taken by Sunnica is good quality irrigated vegetable growing farmland, which provides habitats for 100's of species • We cannot afford to lose this land. The UK is only 64% self-sufficient in food • Importing panels and batteries from China (known to use slave labour for some solar panel production), and the poor scheme design, means the scheme has a huge carbon footprint • University analysis of the Sunnica scheme shows it cannot be 'green'. It will create more carbon in it’s lifetime than it ever saves. Sunnica hinders our pursuit of Carbon Zero by 2050 • If this industrial solar plant happens the value of our properties will be affected forever"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Margaret Gaylor
"I am concerned for the wild life and how it will effect the people living near this huge sola plant. This solar farm will harm the wild life which we have in this area. It will use the fields that we need to grow food, so we don't have to import food from other counties. This is a poor way of using solar. Use roofs on business estates, not our beautiful country side with panels and those very dangerous ugly batteries."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Adams
"Damage to the environment. Too large. Loss of countryside. Not needed. Batteries likely to catch fire and release toxic fumes. Adverse visual changes to the area. Adverse changes to the character of the area. Negative effect on local residents."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Relac
"1. I don't object to a reasonably-sized solar farm, but the proposed solar farm is far too large. Its environmental impact will be horrendous and inefficient as large cabling is required to span the proposed distances from panels to controller/storage, and it will be a huge eyesore. 2. I object to repurposing this much crop-producing farmland to electricity production. 3. Sunnica's financial worth is questionable at best."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Wallis
"It has been readily shown that Sunnica shows no regard to the views expressed by those who are resident in the villages that form part of their Sunnica Solar Farm development and that included not coming to the meeting in Iselham some months ago to hear the views of villagers and that of our two neighboring MPs - Lucy Fraser and Matt Hancock. There is also the matter of Sunnica taking ownership without proper discussion and or negotiation with the landowners of very high quality farming land in the area and that adds to their arrogant approach to this and other matters over the last 12 months. There are many small villages that will be adversely affected by Sunnica's desires and intentions not to say the impact on so many lorries on the narrow village roads. No one is against the concept of environmental needs for the future but Sunnica's intentions are not appropriate in this area. There is also the matter of the solar batteries catching fire that has existed in North West England, in the USA and Japan that Sunnica have not addressed. Whilst I fully support environmental considerations this solar farm proposal by Sunnica is too large over a the area being proposed and does not take in to account the farming considerations. Also potential harm to the villages that will be affected then there is the real concern that the battery plant proposals could have as has been seen elsewhere both in the UK, USA and Japan. The road infrastructure covering the area and villages that would be affected is not appropriate for a project of this intended scale covering 2,792acre. It should not be given approval to proceed.. Should add the level of consultation with all villages, let alone listening to their genuine concerns has been a disgrace."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs G Thompson
"I’m totally against the size of the farm due to loss of farm land for agriculture and and the blot on the landscape."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nicola Di Miscio
"An inappropriate public consultation was carried out by Sunnica. Environmental issues associated to the size of such a solarfarm. Environmental issues associated to solarfarms developed on land. Net CO2 impact of solarfarms (CO2 cost of development, CO2 cost of decommission)."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nikki Lushington
"I wish to challenge Sunnica’s lack if consultation with local residents. I wish to challenge the issues around battery safety and responsibility and liability. I wish to challenge the green aspect of the project I wish to challenge that the loss of farmland I wish to challenge the area around decommissioning and removal and disposal of the panels once they are no longer serviceable This is industrialisation on a massive scale of good farmland destroying environment for wildlife"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Patrick Maguire
"The proposed development is too large and covers too much of the countryside. It disproportionately affects the amenity and enjoyment of the countryside for those living in and visiting this agricultural area. Much smaller solar farms should be developed in order to protect the countryside. Solar farms result in the deaths of many birds as has been experienced in the USA."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Pete O'Riordan
"1 the risk of battery farm fires/explosions is too great. 2 the use of CPOs, even for NSIPs, is unfair. 3 this development will mean the loss of @3000 acres of prime agricultural land. 4 not enough heed paid to local views 5 Sunnica doesn’t seem to have much experience in this field, making it look like a simple profiteering mechanism, with Sunnica farming only Govt. subsidies. 6 solar farm battery units are unregulated under UK law. This is not an exhaustive list."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Philip Frost
"The scheme is far to big , it will have a to bigger impact on the sounding country side and its way of life , the land is better used as farmland . I am also concerned the glere from this amount of panels will effect the vision of low flying aircraft from RAF Mildenhall and Lakenheath. I am against this development ,I think this a bad use of good food growing land.If we need more naturally made energy why not construct wind terbines which take up less valuable land and work 24 hours a day rain or shine ?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Polly Smith
"Concern on battery storage unit safety&proximity to housing&health implications. Impact on wildlife Size of the solar farm Fire Hazard. Impact on children health with 2 primary schools here. concern over scale of the solar farm. concerns how close to homes. massive concerns of fire hazard&toxic gases to health. massive concerns for house prices. concerns of the land not being put to better use to grow vegetables&crops. there is no benefit to us financially or to use the electricity the plant will produce. concerns of the fact these panels&batteries are from china. we love the peacefulness of red lodge, the fact that we are in the countryside, i fear this will change that dramatically&affect the wildlife&land.This should not be allowed to happen to this area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Roger Billings
"Total misuse of valuable arable farmland Preventing home gown products adding more imports to replace vegetable and other products not being environmentally friendly by an increase in transportation footprint There are plenty of sites available on land not suitable for arable farming"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Roger Osborn
"This representation concerns primarily the connection of the Sunnica project at a new Burwell substation extension. I would contend that the option 1 connection site is too close to the housing of Burwell village. In particular that it will create excessive extra noise in operation, on top of the noise from the original substation, and the more recently added 50MW SMS battery installation. In the case of the latter, in certain modes of operation, it makes a significant low frequency roar clearly audible in residential areas. In particular, Table 11.17 of document “EN010106 Volume 1, Environmental Statement, 6.1 Chapter 11: Noise and Vibration” shows an adverse effect at Burwell receptor R1 (a residential area). Section 11.8.32 of the document makes it clear that the noise will particularly have an adverse effect at night. As the document is dated November 2021 it also presumably does not take into account the extra noise already produced by the fans of the SMS 50MW battery installation. In making this point about potential noise I believe I am reiterating an observation that East Cambridgeshire Council made during the consultation about complaints from villagers about existing substation noise. Consequently, the project should not be allowed to proceed unless the new substation can be guaranteed near silent in operation or placed at the alternative site further away from the village’s residential area. Given the village has already sacrificed rural quiet and wildlife habitat for national infrastructure, to host one of only two large battery installations in the country, this request seems to me entirely reasonable."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rosalind Hamill
"I wish to make known in the strongest of terms, my objection to this proposal. Suffolk and Cambridgeshire are prime agricultural areas. We feed the nation Now we have come out of Europe, it is imperative this country becomes even more sustainable and self sufficient, than before. We are an island Anything we cannot grow ourselves has to be imported. Cargo arrives via shipping, trucks, ferry and aircraft Any one of these modes of transport can easily be disrupted by world events I say again. Suffolk and Cambridgeshire is prime agricultural land To take that asset away from people living in the UK is shortsighted and investigations have brought to light the underlying profiteering associated with these companies Facts published are inaccurate Questions have remained unanswered Representatives have refused to meet the public, particularly those most affected This whole scheme smacks of underhand dealings with no thought to future generations, costs of increased imported, affects on acres and acres of land and the devastation which will be done to the environment. And still the company refuses to accept responsibility for any future “accident” which may occur should the batteries overheat, explode or in any way impact on the surrounding land and people. I OBJECT IN THE STRONGEST TERMS"
Parish Councils
Wicken Parish Council
"Wicken Parish Council is around 10 miles away for the area. We may not need to make representation but would like to apply in case the need arises."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Chapman
"The main points of interests as a local tax payer are centered around:- 1) Commercial Contracts. It seems very unclear as to where liability ends up. If a national important project, if all fails does it end up as the West Suffolk and East Cambs responsibility ? Clear and unequivocal statements from the Planning inspectorate should be made. 2) Technical Items around the 'build' seem not to have been answered, clarity on this build and then the review process by the inspectorate would be good to understand. 3) Questions around land use, both local and national directions seem not to have been answered. 4) Wild life impact ? 5) Archaeological impacts ?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Caroline Parker
"The proposed Solar Farm is huge much to large and will have an enormous effect on the country side and wildlife. This local farm land is used to grow much needed food crops."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Bartram
"the use of Golf Links Road is unsuitable for commercial traffic, either for construction or for operational needs post construction. it is single track and well used by walkers, horse riders, and local traffic. it cannot accommodate large lorries."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christopher Corbin
"I am resident in the Parish of Isleham, frequently walk in the local area and appreciate the local landscape. I understand our need for renewable energy but I believe that my visual amenity will be substantially adversely affected by the very large-scale solar panel installations and remarkably large battery systems that are proposed in the near vicinity to Isleham. The proposed installations engulf many of the villages over a vast area nearby to where I live. However, beyond this, I believe that food security is an increasingly pressing issue for the UK and that we can ill afford to lose 2800 acres of what is self-evidently highly productive farmland. I also believe that there are potentially serious issues in relation to the health effects of toxic chemistry (such as cadmium salts) in the solar panels leaching into a vitally important aquifer. Lithium based battery energy storage systems are known to be associated with fire risk and that the fire can be inextinguishable and of extremely high energy. Solar pv panels have a limited life, they are mostly constructed in China (and reputedly often in poor working conditions by conscripted labour) or other distant places and transported large distances to the UK; the construction of a solar installation involves many energy-intensive processes and in the case of this proposal, major earthworks, all of which have a grossly negative carbon or environmental impact. At the end of the useful life of the installation, decommissioning is unlikely to involve recycling to any great degree because of the cost and inefficiency, so the panels are likely to end in landfill, further creating a toxic hazard. In my opinion this proposal will only afford short term gain in the form of an intermittent energy source while causing tragic destruction of landscape and loss of amenity to the residents, removing a very large area of prime food-producing land from use permanently because of contamination and will leave behind a major toxic legacy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dara Gladwin
"My family and I live in West Row, Suffolk. It is our ‘forever home’ with our 2 young boys and we have been put under a lot of undue stress, uncertainty and fear with the proposed Sunnica scheme to destroy wildlife, the countryside, destroy productive arable land and our right to grow a locally sourced food supply and be self-sufficient. They will also put 40,000 human beings lives at risk from the massive battery plant that has history in other countries of massive lithium ion BESS explosions and fires. These are at plants nowhere near the scale of this proposed one. My family and I are all for renewable, wind and solar power energy but not so close to people, breaching their right to not live in fear. These solar and battery plants can be built offshore on industrial roofs or further away from human life. Also as a resident with a young family who will be living on the edge of this dangerous power plant we have not been provided with sufficient information to be adequately consulted about the Sunnica proposal."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Elizabeth Sivyer
"- Proximity of site to a school and residential dwellings with a lack of safety information or evacuation plans. - Loss of agricultural land in the sunniest and therefore one of the most productive regions of the UK. - Decrease in property value to 1000’s of properties near to the proposed sites - Loss of quality of life for 1000’s of residents that call this area home and chose to live here due to countryside and farming land nearby. - Size and scale of the project and the impact the construction will have on already struggling road networks. - Lack of consultation with local residents - representatives not turning up to planned meetings - shows a lack of respect the developers have for the residents which is likely to lead to problems during the development. - Could be a great initiative, but only if the site is scaled back considerably and sited a safe distance from residential properties."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Janet Clarke
"I have been involved cultivating land in the area of this proposal for 60+ years. Over this period it has produced many crops all with good returns. With so much productive land being taken for housing, roads etc it is important that remaining land is kept for food production. i am concerned about the impact this proposal will have on the local community, who use the area for walking and leisure. This will be an eyesore in a very open landscape, we do not believe that the proposed screening will be effective for many years and it will change the nature of the landscape near Isleham. Not sufficient consideration has been given to the effect it will have on our varied wildlife. I think it is dreadful to put the batteries so close to the schools - if an accident occurs the children may need to be evacuated. The local roads are very narrow and unsuitable for the large hgv which will be needed during construction. We believe that the loss of the land use for farming will reduce jobs available for local people."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Joseph Pattison
"We need solar power but not At the expense of prime agricultural land.this is more important now in view of our economic situation and the after effects of covid .We need to produce more of our own food and crops to reduce the reliance on imports and reduce out national debt.This scheme not only takes out prime agricultural land but is too far away from the connection point resulting in massive disruption for residents in the area .Solar is an inefficient method of producing electricity and with rewilding policies being proposed we are in danger of being unable to produce the low levels of food and grain that we currently produce so we will be held to ransom by other nations to buy their food and grains"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lesley Osborne
"I believe that the vast scale of this installation will destroy the rural landscape of the area forever. The two year construction period will cause such devastation to wildlife, their habitats and life cycles that ground nesting bird, such as Skylarks and Stone Curlew populations will suffer irretrievably. This is also likely to be true of many of the areas bats, insect life and flora. I have real concerns over the safety of the storage battery units and the amount of water needed in the case of fire. I am all for green energy production but the vast scale of this project and the fact that it is being built on productive farm land seems to be unwarranted."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Linda Trundley
"Size of site Proximity to small villages Battery storage, fires Detail on batteries ‘ end of life ‘ disposal"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Ray Course
"If this HAS to be Solar energy then there is plenty of unused grass space around Newmarket. That said I view Geothermal Energy as a much healthier and longer term process. Rising hot water can drive pumps that produce electricity. The hot water can then be used for heating prior to returning to the ground."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Neal Entwistle
"With regards to this submission the scheme is simply too overwhelming in the rural countryside in which it is planned. The shear scale of it will convert a beautiful rural agricultural area into an industrial monolithic landscape with dangerous battery storage modules dominating the skyline. The proposed landscaping will not hide these or the panels for at least 20 years as it will take that long to grow high and dense enough to give effective screening. The local area already has considerable amounts of solar PV and these distributed smaller schemes are an acceptable approach but we already have enough of these in West Suffolk. There is little evidence that these schemes provide any benefit to the areas in which they are located and the same applies to the Sunnica scheme, apart possibly from a few maintenance jobs. So the imposition of such a huge scheme comes with an entirely negative impact on the local population and zero benefits. Indeed the shear scale of construction traffic on small C class roads will undoubtedly cause incidents and higher risk in travel for all. Not to mention the fact that these roads will be greatly damaged by the proposed 310 HGV movements every day during the 2 years of construction. Financially, Sunnica is just a shell, a body set up to implement and has no trading integrity. The submission fails entirely in any guarantee of decommissioning funding should this scheme proceed. The operating company could simply drain all resources out of itself as it nears end of life and then enter bankruptcy leaving the taxpayer an expensive mess to clear up. The only way this should be structured would be for an Escrow account to be set up on day 1 and funded at a rate that would achieve 150% of the decommissioning costs within the operational time frame of the scheme. 150% would allow for a contingency and any surplus could be released when all was returned to farm land once again. Use of land is in heavy demand for houses and other uses too, not to mention food production. The recent pandemic should have adequately demonstrated that our reliance on imported food needs to be considered much more carefully. The land taken by this scheme is all productive agricultural land and with a continuing expansion of the population we need every acre to remain in production. There are far poorer and non productive areas that can accommodate PV schemes and the government should legislate to make these mandatory on all new and refurbished industrial buildings and probably on new houses too. This would easily eclipse the power generation of these damaging schemes with near zero impact. Green levies imposed on all of us are one of the reasons that our electricity prices are high enough to make these solar schemes viable but large scale solar is a flawed approach to national grid support. The obvious fact that they produce the least amount of energy in winter months when demand is highest and the most in summer when demand is lowest is an unbalanced approach. It is much better to aim for wind farms that do not require large amounts of land and produce a reliable average source of power. As the government White paper identifies, small scale nuclear is by far the best way to achieve sustainable energy generation and it takes up very little land, typically around 0.5ha. It is proven, reliable and the UK has serious skill in manufacturing and running these safely. One of two of these could more than replace this scheme with almost zero impact on the local area. And of course they provide an on demand source of power supply when you need it. If this went ahead in the scale proposed it would set a precident for further schemes entirely blighting many areas of the beautiful UK. It damages our environment with dangerous battery storage and takes valuable food producting land. It is possible to live without electricity but not without food. Consultation during the pandemic has been woeful and many people could not adequately make their voices heard. The maps published are poor and inadequate for many to understand the scale and impact of the scheme would have. It is sited in an area of countryside that is used for food production and has zero benefit to the local community. It is proposed by a faceless company that has zero links to the area and none of their executives live anywhere near it. I therefore wish this scheme to be refused."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Radcliffe
"The consultation has been wholly inadequate, failing to engage local people. The scale of the development and impact on the communities is overwhelming and the connectivity of isolated rural communities will be altered through an industrial landscape. The sites are considered individually but no consideration of the cumulative impact of all these sites has been undertaken. Loss of highly productive agricultural land. One size fits all approach to screening. Loss of long range views from Isleham and the Limekilns in Newmarket. Damage to views of Isleham Church from Beck Road and Ferry Road. Damage to vast view from the Limekilns Newmarket and the B1506 including Ely Cathedral. Impact on attractiveness of area for visitors to Newmarket as the world Horse Racing Centre and consequent economic impact. Impact and safety of battery storage on site. Closure of well used rights of way in an area with limited footpaths. The impact on wildlife and watercourses does not appear to be mitigated by the areas identified. The net gain for the local communities is very limited and unthought through."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Roy Clarke
"We have farmed land adjacent to the land in this proposal for close on 70 years. During this time we have grown a variety of crops which have always given us good yields and have been profitable even without the subsidies. The land has always provided good quality food to local people, and now to supermarkets and a wider population. We believe that taking this land out of production increases pressure on other areas at a time when farmers are being called on to farm less intensively. If we cannot grow some crops in this area there is a possibility that the food will need to be imported adding to the carbon footprint. During the pandemic local farmers provided vegetable boxes for older and vulnerable people when food was short. We need land which will grow food to be kept for food production. The area has always supported a diverse range of wildlife, deer, hare, stone curlews, badgers have all thrived alongside the farmed fields, the fences are going to restrict movement along established routes. The roads in the area are rural roads totally unsuited for the hgv which will be necessary during construction. The batteries are close to villages and any accident could have major consequences in the area. We have grave concerns over decommissioning and whether this will be accounted, if approved the money needs to be set aside at the start. There will be no work for local people if this goes ahead and some jobs in the area may be lost."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sandra Dwan
"Concerns about the safety of the battery farm and the risk of a major fire so near to Red Lodge. Loss of high grade agricultural land. Needless Investment in old technology - the decarbonisation of petrol and gas is under way via the National Grid project in the Norther Powerhouse. Solar power is not efficient or effective. Solar power is being sold as 'green' when it is anything but green."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alan Borderick
"This application is flawed on every level. 1. There has been negligible consultation between Sunnica and the local population. Sunnica have hidden behind the coronavirus pandemic to avoid engaging with affected villagers and councils. They have been invited to attend meetings (most recently chaired by the 2 MPs in whose constituencies these plans fall) and they have declined all invitations. 2. The proposal claims green credentials. In reality, the solar panels will cost more to manufacture and transport than they will save in their use. And that is before you factor-in the hundreds of lorry journeys every day for 2 years erecting the sites. Also before you consider the cost of decommissioning the sites after 40 years. It is presently unclear exactly how the sites can be decommissioned. There is a serious concern that the panels cannot be recycled and will end up in landfill sites. 3. The panels are apparently manufactured in China by people who are being “re-educated”. If this is the case, then approval by this government would be tantamount to giving a green light to slavery. 4. The sites which are proposed for “development” are prime growing land. They are not areas where nothing grows. They have been actively managed for centuries. Crops produced in this area are of such great quality that local farmers have contracts to supply national supermarkets. This would all be lost forever. Upon decommissioning, the land would be sufficiently contaminated that it could not be returned to producing food. 5. To state the obvious, this island has a finite amount of land. We also have a growing population which needs feeding. If we take large areas of food-producing land away, we will have no option but to import more food from abroad. Transportation of these supplies will further erode the alleged green credentials of this plan. It will also put this country more at the mercy of international forces over which we will have no control. 6. Surely, it must be greener and more cost-effective in the longer term to sight solar panels on rooftops - factories, industrial units, new-build houses; also on existing brownfield sites. 7. The plans provide for a significant number of battery units. These are used to store the electricity until it is transferred into the National Grid. Why? Why will the electricity not be fed into the Grid as it is being produced? Is it so that the timing of this upload can be controlled to happen at times when the price is higher? This application is riding the short-sighted green wave which is currently being promoted. But the real reason is: PROFIT. And short term profit without thought to local populations, wildlife or the long term needs of the country. 8. The battery units themselves are a proven danger; a fault in just one cell causes a chain reaction. The resultant fires are very difficult to bring under control and cause highly toxic fumes. Living anywhere in proximity would be likened to living next door to a ticking bomb - you know that it is highly likely that it will go off, you just don’t know when."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Marchant
"One of the three proposed oversized battery storage sites is in close proximity to my home two primary schools and my place of work. Statistically a fire is inevitable. This is likely to result in my village including both schools and my place of work being evacuated. Contamination of the ground and water table with heavy metals is likely as has happened at other much much smaller sites. Food prices continue to rise and the vast amount of farm land being used will will further compound this. The owners of this project intend to sell it on and therefore have no interest in insuring that it is safe, sustainable or that the land is restored to current status."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Geraldine Ciantar
"1.The designated land is prime farming land which we need to grow our own food. This is crucial now we have left the EU 2. It will include dangerous batteries the size of apartment blocks very close to schools, houses and a military airbase. Smaller batteries in other countries (and in Liverpool) have caught fire causing noxious fumes, and been impossible to extinguish-being left to burn out. 3.It will surround several villages right up to gardens of homes. 4. It will take over two years of lorry movements to build it using small country roads. 5. It will blight high quality agricultural land which will become industrial land if the solar plant goes ahead 6. The batteries are only there to store energy from the grid at night to sell for a profit at higher daytime rates 7. It's part owned by a Spanish developer who will get half the profits. Locals will not benefit at all. It is a money making venture rather than a green energy project. 8. The are thousands of commercial and residential roofs that would generate just as much energy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Josie Jennings
"I will be commenting on issues surrounding the process by which this application has been accepted and the public consultation thereof; the environmental consequences of the proposal - in terms of wildlife and local amenity; issues that the proposed construction and associated disturbances will cause to residents; the lack of consideration given to the capacity of local infrastructure. All these issues as they relate to the size of the project, the lack of consideration of alternatives, the perceived attitude in which the application has been conducted and the lack of understanding of local factors. All this focussing on the area around the south and west of Worlington."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Matt Hancock MP
"I am writing in opposition to the Sunnica project in its current form. As a local MP I and many I have spoken to have taken issue, not with the solar farm’s existence, but with the scale and proposals in their current form. Let alone Sunnica's blatant disregard for public consultation. The batteries being uses are of particular concern due to storage when they degrade or are decommissioned which has not yet been defined. The location so close to settlements means evacuation if something was to go wrong would be near impossible. The scale of the project too is a huge issue, as it exceeds all other suggestions of its type and is covering rich fertile land. It is in all senses of the word excessive. Lastly and my most fervent criticism of this project and of Sunnica's approach to it, is the lack of consultation. Initial consultation had to be done online for COVID reasons, however, once they resumed in person Sunnica refused to send a representative. They have not engaged with the local communities once since. Make no mistake this is having a huge effect on people’s lives, many are losing their livelihoods; farms and business will be destroyed from this. Let alone the key reason people choose to live in this area (the natural beauty) is being taken away, which will devalue property and take away many of the joys of life in the area. I would reiterate my support for solar energy more broadly, but emphasise the scale of this project, its location and its lack of consideration for the local population means it cannot be allowed to go ahead in its current form. I hope you will consider these points. Thank you for your work. Matt Sunnica, have shown absolutely no regard for the people who live in the area or the devastating effect the proposals will have on their community. The plans envisage a horseshoe of development around several of our villages, turning them from rural settlements into industrial zones. The land they are building on is good rural land which has high yields and provided vital food security for the UK, which has become increasingly important in the wake of the Ukraine War and heightened international tensions. Removing this land from the rural economy will not only significantly damage the local economy but also the local way of life. It is not just the picturesque setting we are set to lose, it is our celebrated history too. The world famous Royal Worlington Golf Course is at risk from the development. There would be a significant impact on Newmarket’s Limekilns – one of the most famous training grounds in the world, and one of the reasons that Newmarket is pre-eminent as the home of horseracing, which is incredibly important. It is not only disappointing but alarming how those behind this proposal have failed to bring the community with them. Sunnica has not, as far as I know, set foot in the villages and towns affected to answer residents’ questions since July 2019. It is striking that when I held a public meeting together with Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, Sunnica didn’t bother to turn up. They have treated residents with utter contempt through their arrogant, high-handed manner. Sunnica has refused to meet me. It has refused to attend any public meetings and has been contemptuous and dismissive of my West Suffolk constituents. The developers of Sunnica have tried to hide the fact that one of their objectives is installing battery storage units rather than panelling without the consent of local residents. Such lack of transparency is an insult to the local populous. These batteries are supposedly there to store the energy generated by the solar panels, but they can also make money for the landowners by storing energy that the National Grid wants to keep for times of high demand. Even the most ardent supporter of renewable energy can surely see that putting a huge battery farm right next to villages is a bad idea. There are significant safety issues, after all, not least the risk of serious fires. The last three years have seen 38 fires at battery energy storage depots around the world. Water is no use for tackling such blazes. Fire authorities have said that once one of those fires starts, there is nothing that can be done to stop it except wait and hope that it does not lead to toxic fumes. We cannot risk this potential hazard harming our health, homes and wildlife. According to Article 7.7 of ‘The Infrastructure Planning (Electricity Storage Facilities) Order 2020’, battery storage can only be included within a Development Consent Order as an ‘associated development’. However, because Sunnica’s battery storage capacity is so significant, it is possible that the battery storage is in fact the ‘host’ project. If so, it appears the battery storage element should instead be considered through the conventional planning application process. I have even been advised that the Sunnica’s proposal won’t even help our carbon emissions – with estimates suggesting this vast development would pump out more carbon into the atmosphere over its lifetime than it actually saved! On Sunday I will lead a protest against proposals to build the UK’s largest solar and battery farm. To give you an idea of scale – the site will be the size of 2,115 football pitches, and cover large swathes of my constituency of West Suffolk, as well as South East Cambridgeshire. Sunday's march will see me standing shoulder to shoulder with a community I have had the honour of representing for over a decade, as we ramp up our campaign to save ancient villages and farmland from being changed forever. But it is not just the picturesque setting we are set to lose – it is our celebrated history too. The world famous Royal Worlington Golf Course is also at risk from the development. While there would be a significant impact on Newmarket's Limekilns – one of the most famous training grounds in the world, and one of the reasons that Newmarket is pre-eminent as the home of horseracing, which is incredibly important. Ultimately, our aim is to send the plans back to the drawing board. Specifically, to show the developers our strength of feeling and finally have our voices heard. I am a supporter of solar power. I have voiced support for solar farms in the past. I have backed solar panels on roofs, and supported solar in the right place, with strong and even enthusiastic local support. I have supported solar installations in my constituency since I became the MP in 2010, including outside Wickhambrook, in my home and at Toggam Farm. As a former Energy Minister, I am a huge champion of this agenda and I am very proud that 99 per cent of the solar on the roofs of houses and buildings in this country has been put on those roofs since 2010. So, you may ask why I am so vehemently against these plans. It is a fair and legitimate question. The answer is simple. Sunnica – the developers behind these plans – have shown absolutely no regard for the people who live in the area, or the devastating effect the proposals will undoubtedly have on the community. The current plans are like a horseshoe around several villages which will turn them from rural settlements into industrial zones. It quite simply cannot go ahead in its current state. Worse, this arrogant, high handed approach directly harms the cause of renewable power - which should be done in a way everyone can be proud of. The deeply heartbreaking events in Ukraine have reminded us of the importance of becoming energy self-sufficient once again. It was encouraging to see the Government announce this week that the UK will phase out the import of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022. As we wean ourselves off of Russian gas, it is vital we renew our call for renewable energy, such as solar. We must also be creative and innovative in how we install solar panels, and ensure we install them in the right places. For instance, I believe that solar panels should be built on the roof of every new home and on the roofs of factories. Even the most ardent supporter of renewable energy can see that putting a huge battery farm right next to several villages is a bad idea. Worse still, the advice that I have received is that the Sunnica proposal will have a net-positive carbon impact over its lifetime - which would make a mockery of the net-zero ambitions and the importance of tackling climate change. Despite asking for clarification, I have never received an answer to why there is no requirement for an independent, whole-life carbon assessment to be carried out for all developments. Sunnica seems to exist only to get this planning application through and then to sell it off. Its proposal envelopes villages in the beautiful Suffolk countryside and goes right up to within a few hundred yards of houses, turning our beautiful landscape into industrialised land. Worse still a very significant chunk of the energy—a much bigger chunk than the solar energy generated—will be from a battery farm. If we need a battery farm, why site it in the middle of the beautiful Suffolk countryside not in an industrial estate where it belongs? Furthermore, there are significant safety issues which Sunnica have failed to adequately address. I was sceptical of the arguments about safety issues until I looked into them in detail. Alarmingly, there have been 38 fires at battery energy storage systems across the world in the last three years. The biggest issue with battery technology is that water cannot be used to put out fires. Fire authorities have said that once one of those fires starts, there is nothing that can be done to stop it except wait and hope that it does not lead to toxic fumes. We cannot risk this hazard harming our homes, landscape and wildlife. In areas of my constituency downwind of this proposed development, there are large areas of homes, such as Red Lodge, where this is a very significant problem. Sunnica have tried to hide the fact this is a massive battery farm with all the dangers that come from that. The lack of transparency in their plans is an insult to my constituents. You’d have thought, given the scale of the proposal, that there would be plenty of information and engagement. That’s the complete opposite of the case. It is not only disappointing but worrying how those behind this proposal have completely failed to bring the community with them, refused to attend any of the numerous local meetings and have not even tried to win over local support. The developers are being allowed to pick and choose how they get their developments through with minimal public engagement. Sunnica has refused to meet me, it has refused to attend any public meetings and has been contemptuous and dismissive of my West Suffolk constituents. It has had next to no engagement. It has not, as far as I know, set foot in the villages and towns affected to answer residents’ questions since July 2019. It is striking that when I held a public meeting together with Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, Sunnica did not even bother turning up. They have treated residents with contempt all along in their high-handed manner. This proposal should be stopped and sent straight back to the drawing board. To deliver on the noble goal of energy self-sufficiency once again, we need to bring people with us."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Hill
"The scale of the plans is just to huge to contemplate, it will destroy the local area and use vital farmland. The extra capacity required at Burwell sub station is already damaging what was once a lovely peaceful village to live in. The low level humming noise can already be heard all around the village. Solar farms of this scale should not be necessary when new housing developments are being built all around the country with no compulsory roof solar panels (why is this? So easy to install when a house is being built) and yet huge swathes of countryside are being swallowed up as solar farms with large noisy batteries."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sue Shepherd
"I believe that the solar farm proposed to be built in this area will be a dangerous and un sustainable project. Contamination of farm land beyond repair. Wildlife will suffer if it is not considered. Local villages will suffer the effects of the building and the end result."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Amanda Tanner
"It's just not appropriate to use prime agricultural land for solar farms. If this applications accepted there are already smaller estates wanting to piggyback onto the development. Surely there are better areas for this type of development such as over xar parks and brown field sites."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ed Lockwood
"TOO BIG. A normal Solar Farm size is 75 to 100 acres. Sunnica’s is an Industrial Power Plant, the largest in Europe at 2,792 acres, equivalent 2,115 football pitches. INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE. The views over the landscape and the feel of the area will be changed forever with panels, batteries, fencing, noise and light pollution a dominating factor. INEFFICIENT. Sunnica is an inefficient, opportunistic, 'hotch potch' design with panels littering the countryside in four sites with a pipeline over 15 miles long to reach the connection point at Burwell, criss crossed by many roads, railway, rivers, streams pathways and public rights of way. WASTEFUL. It wastes valuable, productive arable farmland currently producing vegetable and cereal crops for a minimum of 40 years. To improve our environment there is a need to reduce the carbon miles our food travels and improve our food security as the global population continues to increase. NEGATIVE FINANCIALS. The fi­nancial position of Sunnica is negative in their last set of accounts (-£181k). It is extremely worrying that a company with this ­financial standing is able to work on an Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project involving hundreds of millions of pounds to construct and importantly provision to clear up the site should the scheme go bankrupt during its planned 40 year life. NOT FOR YOU, FOR PROFIT. This scheme will not supply sustainable energy to local housing, it will be sold for profi­t to large corporations and the national grid. Energy will be exported from the grid at cheap, off peak times and sold back at peak times, using the battery storage to generate huge profi­ts from energy trading. It is not anticipated to create any long-term local jobs. There is no compensation offered for a reduction in house values. DESTROY WILDLIFE. The scheme will destroy wildlife corridors, nesting and feeding habitats, which, once gone will not be easily recovered. DANGEROUS TECHNOLOGY. The Lithium-ion batteries used in the three Battery Energy Storage Systems are potentially dangerous, currently banned in Arizona as they are ‘unacceptable risks’, due to causing two uncontrollable ­fires. The fumes omitted during these toxic fi­res are extremely hazardous to human life. A fire of this nature has already been experienced in Liverpool. NEGATIVE EFFECT ON HEALTH. Particularly during construction residents, both young and old, with lung conditions such as COPD & Asthma are at risk from high levels of dust in the air that is potentially lethal to human health. POOR SCREENING. Whilst Sunnica commit to trying to mitigate the damage done the by the scheme, trees and shrubs will take years to grow to the height of 2.5m to obscure the panels and deer fencing and even longer for the 6m high Battery Energy Storage Systems. This means that from the start of the construction it will be over 5 years before the planting has much effect on hiding this ugly blot on our landscape. TRAFFIC CHAOS. Through the estimated 2 years of construction of the Sunnica site, the contractor will bring in Heavy Goods Vehicles, including abnormal loads, 841 staff vehicles. 1,260 staff will be working Monday to Saturday 7am to 7pm creating noise and traffic through our villages. There is likely to be many road closures, diversions and muddy conditions to endure. PROPERTY VALUES WILL FALL. The opinion of local estate agents is that property prices in the area will fall reducing your property value. As an example, a house currently valued at £400k will cost you £40k at a 10% reduction and £80k at a 20% reduction."
Members of the Public/Businesses
James Moody
"I object to the size of the development engulfing countryside villages a d diminishing the local countryside feel."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lewis Jackson
"Reasons why Sunnica Solar Farm should not go ahead in it's current state. It will include dangerous batteries the size of apartment blocks which have caught fire in other countries and can't be extinguished,. These will be less and 0.5km from my house. The fumes that are released in the event of a fire are toxic. There are numerous schools and nurseries within close proximity of these battery units, which my children attend. Kt will take two years of over 300 lorry movements the commuting traffic of over 1000 people daily to build it. This will have a major impact on road conditions as well as a increased pollution and air quality. Agricultural land will be lost at a time when food prices are increasing. A loss of food production will cause more food to be important causing the carbon footprint of the UK to increase. House prices in the area will likely to dramatically decrease. This will have negative effect on the local community and standards of living."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael John Pollard
"1 The Solar farm will occupy valuable farming land 2 The area is the habitat of great Crested newts 3 It will devalue the cost of my house 4 Building it will cause lorries moving materials continually passing my house in Worlington 5 It will be an eyesore in a rural setting"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nicholas Harvey
"My representation will concentrate on a number of principles and will exclude National Policy complaints which are a major item of concern. It will cover - the applicants consultation process - the suitability of the site - the size of the site(s) - the lack of detailed information about items of interest and consistent misleading of the public - the Health and Safety of the site - the lack of any real plan to decommission, recycle, upgrade or maintain the site - the refusal to reconsider the site choice - the need and effectiveness of this type of installation I also look forward to be able to give you fullest details of the applicants misuse of the planning system for financial gain."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Samantha Crick
"I strongly sit against the Sunnica development. My concerns are mostly regarding the size of battery storage and the proximity to the local schools and residential areas in Redlodge. I have young children and I'm extremely worried about how this will possibly effect us/them in the future wether from a leak, a fire or in a worse case scenario situation. I believe that there could be a better place for this energy farm and I cannot understand the thought Process in why this location was chosen out of presumably the whole of England."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Pike
"I have an interest in this development as it is likely to have a direct impact on me as a resident of Red Lodge, including health and safety considerations and evacuation planning in the event of an emergency event, a direct impact on the value of my home, destruction of wildlife habitats, loss of arable farm land and concern over the impact of decommissioning and also construction of the site."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Steven Purser
"I am a resident of the village of Freckenham. I object to the proposal by Sunnica to develop a solar energy facility nearby the village. I believe that the proposal is disproportionately large and will completely overwhelm what is a quiet and rural setting. It is proposed to extend over a staggeringly large area, which will necessitate a huge amount of heavy traffic to and from the area during the preparatory and construction phases which will disrupt many aspects of rural life and make travelling about the roads in the area extremely inconvenient as there will be road closures, footpath closures and additional traffic. The area planned for development contains high quality productive arable farmland which, once developed will be re-designated and may subsequently enable further industrial development that would not otherwise be allowed in a rural location. Given this countries need for food security I am amazed that anyone wishes to destroy such land and replace it with solar arrays. It is a waste of farmland that currently produces important vegetable crops which will in the next decades become more significant to our diets. Overall there will be a substantial loss of amenity to my generation and those who follow. The sheer scale of the project brings with it additional risks including fire risk from numerous battery storage units, which may additionally create a risk that results in a need for people to vacate their homes. This area, Freckenham in particular is an ancient Fenland location where valuable and priceless archeological relics may be disturbed; I have seen no reference to precautions proposed to minimise risk during the consultation to date. I am not against alternative energy projects, they are crucial to managing the climate emergency that we have as a society created, but developments need to be proportionate and beneficial to the locality in which they are set. this proposal contains zero energy benefit for local people. The period during which the consultation took place has been in the midst of the pandemic but the clarity of information provided and the detail available from the developer has been woeful. It is with regret that I object to this scheme, but as a citizen and a resident of the area that will be grossly affected I must express my great concern and anxiety about it. To whosoever is judging the merits of the proposal I urge caution in making a decision that will affect a swathe of beautiful, rural countryside in a way that will never be reversed. Please acknowledge my concerns. Thank you, Steve PURSER"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Beardon
"I support the scheme on local, national, and global grounds. Climate change is a much bigger threat to our lives than Covid-19, and will have a much bigger impact, including possible incursion of the sea close to local villages by 2050. Solar farms are a critical requirement if we are to meet the challenge. While there may be complaints, I find them minor and relatively easy to mitigate, I don't think they balance the scale of the concerns with the scale of the issue, and they offer no viable alternative. I believe Sunnica, and many more projects like it, must go ahead urgently, as part of a government-led strategy of de-carbonisation."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Barry Botwright
"I can confirm that I would not be happy for this project to go ahead I think the impact on my village and other surrounding villages would be too detrimental. We are already losing far too much land to housing developers and I feel that Sunnica would just take away even more. We cannot afford to lose any more bridal or footpaths, otherwise those that live here will have nowhere to go safe from the main traffic. The Battery Storage facility is also a huge concern as one would imagine that god forbid anything was to happen to it, fire, explosion etc then would have a massive impact on our infrastructure, environment and general well being."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Ann Wheeler
"Firstly concern regarding the size of the project and the use of productive farmland. Secondly concern regarding the inefficiencies inherent in the scheme, is this the best way forward in producing green energy. Thirdly the disruption, noise and the traffic during construction the roads leading to the sites are country roads and are narrow. Fourthly it is industrialisation of the countryside with no community benefits"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Emily Wilcox
"Worry about the health of the local residents."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Joseph Pattison on behalf of Margaret Coates
"The scheme is too large and will dominate the area . The scheme is too far away from the connecting point and will result is massive disruption during the construction period and after 30 years when the scheme will be obsolete . It takes out valuable farmland which we will desperately need because of the economic effects on our country of brexit and covid . We need to reduce the amount of food and grains that we import to reduce the balance of payments deficit caused by leaving Europe and the huge cost of covid. Other more effective ways of producing green energy should be given priority which will be more efficient and last longer than solar ."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Taylor
"As a resident of Red Lodge I have no qualms about solar farms, but do have grave concerns about the proposed battery storage farm in close proximity to where I live. From what I have discovered, there is a danger that if there is a fire (caused by electrical faults, lightning, or even arson) they are very difficult to extinguish and spread quickly. But the main concern is the toxic fumes that would be released into the air as a result. These I believe include hydrochloric acid which I know can be life threatening if inhaled. We have been told there would be mandatory evacuation of homes as a result. depending on which way the wind carried the fumes. How quickly that could be implemented also adds to the inherent danger. There are over 11,000 residents of Red Lodge to the west, and perhaps twice that many in both Newmarket (east) and Mildenhall (north). Logistically, I think evacuation on this sort of scale would be almost impossible and lives would be therefore be in jeopardy. Another serious concern is the effect it is already having on house prices in the area, as these concerns raised are already widely known in the area. Unless you can categorically assure me that battery farms pose no potential or realistic danger as i've highlighted above, I am against the proposed battery farm at this location. I have several concerns but the main one is regarding the BESS and the associated risks that come with it. The lack of detailed information by representatives from Sunnica to my village on March 9th left everyone there even more concerned over the risks involved in the event of a fire and the toxic fumes that would follow. I live less than a quarter of a mile away from the proposed site and feel in the event of a fire the ability to evacuate everyone in our village (a population of 12,000+) is in itself unrealistic, even more so in neighbouring Mildenhall and Newmarket and the surrounding villages. The representatives simply failed to give assurances and could declined to answer certain questions altogether."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sue Winter
"I live in Freckenham and whilst I wholeheartedly support solar panels as a green way to provide electricity I believe that there are better places to put them on rather than on agricultural fields. For example, roofs of any kind including houses, shelters, public buildings etc. The cost of living is going up and surely it makes sense to grow locally rather than import food which obviously has a higher carbon footprint."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alan Waterfield
"My representation is based on the following objections :- 1). Vast areas of good existing agricultural land will be lost. 2), Fire risk at battery locations and lack of experience with this type of incidence. 3).Existing wildlife in the area will be badly effected. 4).During build heavy goods vehicles will damage existing roads and cause general disruption to area. 5) Noise at sub stations will effect inhabitants. 6). The whole operation covers far too large an area and should be cut by at least 50%"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Geoffrey Bennett
"The area proposed is countryside farming land of which has the richest fertile soil in the country and provides a huge percentage of the country’s needs in edible products in vegetable and meat and poultry produce. If the proposed energy supply is needed and this type is debatable and contentious especially so close to ever expanding towns and villages then more barren land should be looked for as this could be put on rocky and hilly ground and would probably be more effective too."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard David Liddington
"It is a complete contradiction to be pursuing and morally arguing for renewable energy when it is completely outweighed by the economic, environmental and wellbeing costs, particularly when there are far more efficient and less damaging means to generate such energy. I particularly object on the grounds of: -The size, scale and rural positioning of this proposal -The loss of prime agricultural farmland, rural views and associated local employment - The resulting increase in imported food and pollution -The unacceptable risk and dangers associated with the proposed technology - The inefficient design of the proposal and the availability of better alternatives -The lack of detail, accountability and false claims regarding the decommissioning of the site. - The enormous, detrimental impact that the construction proposals will have on residents and the local environment. - The complete lack of effective screening and landscaping - The financial position and professional capability of Sunnica - The complete lack of benefits to the local community - The destruction of wildlife corridors and nesting and feeding habitats, - The lack of proper and diligent consultation."
Members of the Public/Businesses
The Ark Church Isleham
"we believe the following to be an accurate representation of the views of our church and in particular Church leaders towards Sunnica’s proposals: • As custodians of God’s creation, we fully recognise the terrible historical and ongoing damage being caused to our planet • We accept our individual and collective responsibility to change our behaviours and universally support the principal of renewable energy as part of this change • We do however believe that there are numerous flaws with Sunnica’s proposal including: o the detrimental impact of losing such vast amounts of agricultural land and the resulting increase in transportation of food supplies o the inefficient generation, transportation and storage of electricity achieved by this proposal o the compulsory purchase of several sections of land will unnecessarily and detrimentally affect people’s economic livelihood o changes should be made at a political and legislative level to ensure renewable energy is efficient and a compulsory element of all new domestic and commercial construction o the lack of clarity and accountability for the ultimate decommissioning of the enormous site Our most specific concerns regarding this proposal relate to: • the resulting loss of rural views, green spaces and footpaths which won’t just detract from the views of our architectural significant building but will negatively affect the physical and emotional wellbeing of all residents • the non-typical, green Oak construction of The Ark, (which has an approx rebuild value of £12m) means that our buildings insurance premium is already extremely high. Our immediate proximity to the edge of the proposed site and the evidential dangers of fire associated with such sites will unquestionably increase the risk to our building and therefore further increase our building insurance premium"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jen Mctrusty
"I am fully AGAINST SUNNICA. Whoever in their right mind thinks it’s okay to disrupt all the farmland, the countryside, for a solar farm so close to villages, homes, schools and business. The battery’s themselves pose a massive fire risk, why should I have to live in an area where I fear for my family. Who wants to live in an area where there is such a high threat there has to be an evacuation process! In a village with essentially one road in and out per side! What happens to the land and the battery’s once they have reached the end of their life? What can the land be used for after? Where do you propose to dispose of the battery’s and panels? Yes solar is the way forward. But as such scale and close proximity to villages is just selfish and unnecessary. Go to the middle of the country."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mike Starnes
"Plan too big turning a rural landscape into an industrial landscape. Loss of valuable land at a time when the country should be aiming for greater food self sufficiency. The battery elements are using unproven technology with potential safety implications. Noise and disruption during construction and ongoing noise pollution from the battery storage stations - already an issue on the recently completed storage facility in Burwell Carbon emissions created in the manufacture, transportation, construction, maintenance and decommissioning of facilities will not be offset by reduced alternative means of generation. Reduced quality of life for people living in the vicinity of the installations"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Alan B. Smith
"We moved to this house in Worlington in late 2015 in the knowledge from our solicitor that the area surrounding our house was designated as countryside. There was no possibility of the land being used for housing or commercial development. Therefore we are affected by the Sunnica proposal and furthermore in 2021 found it impossible to sell our house to downsize due to my wifes ill health. Our agent confirmed in writing that willing purchasers were unable to proceed due to the planned Sunnica development. and the consequent possible decrease in property values. We therefore object to the Sunnica proposal; on the grounds of the scale of the project of some 2,800 acres of food producing farland being lost and the change of use to an industrial complex consisting of approx 1.1 million solar panels, warehousing, car parking facilities, office accommodation and 3 large sites with a total of 75 acres of battery energy storage cabins. These pose dangers to human health with risks of fire, explosion and toxic plume. We wish to inform the planning inspectors by Written Representation of a number of items within the Development Consent Order that we wish to comment on in detail and will provide evidence to support the facts we present. The following is a list of those Apps within the DCO. • The concerns of good class food producing farmland being chosen instead of brownfield sites, old industrial sites, contaminated MOD land and no information available on alternative sites. • The risks to human health from BESS fires and explosions internationally including the UK and the fact they are unsafe as proven by academics. • The closeness of the planned development to residential areas whereas the recommendation for BESS installations is a 10 mile radius of residential properties. • The ability of the 2 local fire services to cope with a catastrophe when it is learnt that there is no national fire service training but that and major incidents with BESS are left to the Area Chief fire officer. • Decommissioning, at the moment, no national guidelines from BEIS as per wind farms, the leases are for 40 years so who will be responsible for maintenance, and returning the 2,800 acres back to farmland and what are the anticipated costs. Sunnica have said publicly they will on sell the DCO planning consent. • Solar technology. The grid cable connection at Burwell is 15km from the solar farm whereas The Inspectors for Cleve Hill Solar farm said the maximum efficiency is at 5km. • The Funding Statement for the scheme by Sunnica Ltd and its backers on which there is scant information re the estimated capital cost. Also the financial viability of the scheme and also the contribution to green energy evidence. • The historic importance of the Brecklands landscape in which most of the development is situated and the environmental costs to its habitat of protected wildlife and birds."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Heath Rosselli Campbell
"The devastating detrimental effect to the environment; detrimental to mental health of residents of surrounded villages, destruction of wildlife and their habitats, battery energy storage system is a very real and dangerous fire risk to nearby houses and Red Lodge school, our area turning from rural to brownfield forever. End of life clean up operation will have to be funded and where will no longer functioning batteries and solar panels go?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Pam Dowson
"I object to the Sunnica development on these grounds: * It is too big and too near to residential properties. It would be more acceptable if it were smaller and out of view. * It is using valuable agricultural land, more necessary since Brexit if we are to avoid expensive import duties. * The threat posed to possible malfunction of the storage batteries. * The loss of recreational natural land. * Two years' worth of disruption to villages from site traffic. * No clear plan for the decommissioning after its use - 30 years from now."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hamelin Brands Ltd
"I run a business that employs 80 people about 1km from the largest of the battery stores in this proposal. On behalf of those employees whom I have a duty of care to, I object to the proposal at this time as the safety concerns I have heard raised and the answers so far given do not satisfy me. I am unclear if the battery technology is the same as those used in other installations that have caught fire. In particular the one in Liverpool ,where I understand the investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing. I am led to understand there is a risk of fire and that toxic chemicals would be released. I have not seen any details of this risk and mitigation if any. In my view permission to go ahead should NOT be given until the investigation into the Liverpool fire is complete and experts have been given the chance to challenge Sunnica and for Sunnica to give written and published details of the battery installations and risk assessments for them."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Helen Faulkner
"In 2018 we moved to our house in Red Lodge which is now affected by the Sunnica ltd development. We are therefore personally affected as a family which includes our 2 children. One of the reasons for moving to this location was the close proximity to the countryside as we are keen ramblers and use the many footpaths in the Brecklands area affected by the Sunnica development. We understand many of these will be closed. We have a great interest in wildlife especially birds and many protected species have nesting grounds in the Brecklands Historic Landscape. We are also keen photographers and enjoy photographing rare birds and animals on our walks. Therefore we wish to object to the Sunnica proposal and inform the Planning Inspectorate by, Written Representation, due to the large area for development of some 2,800 acres of farmland used for food production and the fact it is intended to position Battery Energy Storage cabins at 3 separate sites with a total of 75 acres. One of these sites will be situated in Elms road between Red Lodge and Freckenham and is within half a mile of our property. We are told it will stack some 120 cabins. Our house is also 100 yards from the 2 local primary schools for Red Lodge and each school has 500 pupils. The population of Red Lodge is 6, 000 and it is a new development of young families. We are all terrified of the risks of fire, explosion and toxic fumes in the case of a major incident at the local planned battery site. We have read reports of many of these fires globally especially in South Korea and the United States and we are told of one in this country at Liverpool some 15 months ago. In one fire in America residents within a 10 mile radius were evacuated from their homes. We wonder what ever would happen to us if we had to leave our homes and if local Emergency Services could cope. Therefore we wish to submit a more detailed report to the examiners of concerns we have for the Sunnica proposal as follows. • All the agricultural land within the Sunnica development of 2,800 acres produces crops to produce food for this country. We feel any such industrialised development for the production of green energy should be positioned away from residential properties and on land designated as brownfield sites. • We have seen no evidence of alternative sites that Sunnica may have considered. • There is evidence from newspaper reports and from academics of the dangers of BESS and that they are unsafe. There are recommendations by academics that they should be 10 miles from residential properties. • We question can the local emergency services have the resources to cope with a major incident and how are they trained. • If we had to evacuate our homes in Red Lodge where would 6,000 families be rehoused. • Decommissioning at 40 years will be in our lifetime and that of our children. What are the plans to return the solar farm to agricultural land or are we to expect a desert wilderness of redundant glass panels and industrial units. What would be the cost and who would be responsible for decommissioning."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jackie Seddon
"Objection to this application on the grounds that valuable agricultural land will be removed from the supply base and the only options to replaced food produced on this land, will be imports. The UK should source food from our own land and not import produce as imported food travels miles increases Co2. This is not green and this project yes ticks one box but certainly not another. Please respect and protect our UK Farmland and agricultural industry. I am a farmer and so have passion that our land should be food producing food. I certainly feel for those who will live near this proposal, as it will effect their mental health. This is far to big a proposal taking away important land out of the supply chain. Communication with Sunnica has been very poor and certainly have felt under-pressure from them. They have no respect for our land or industry and it is made worse knowing the Company is not totally a British Company. Please save our countryside and our soils for growing crops for UK supply as our East Anglian soils are precious and play a big part in the supply of food to our nation."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Palace Green Homes
"Our company is party to a mixed-use development in the immediate vicinity of the eastern boundary of the application site, at Kennett. This application would support the delivery of other development sites by strengthening & diversifying the local & national electrical grid. We maintain interest in the associated construction logistics and trafficking as well as the ongoing operations."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Simon Cock
"I believe that the Sunnica application should be rejected on the grounds that: - The organisation behind it does not have the experience to run such a large facility, leaving the infrastructure, land and local residents & businesses in danger of accidents, mistakes and mismanagement. I'm sure the inspectorate would not give approval for a nuclear facility to be run by an organisation that has never run an industrial nuclear plant and, considering the power storage/batteries, etc involved, see similar risks in this application. - A number of roads, such as Elms Road (between Freckenham & the A11/Red Lodge) are narrow roads, without footpaths and are officially classed as "Unsuitable for Heavy Goods Vehicles". Frequent accidents occur along these roads, caused primarily due to their narrow widths. Some of the installation sites are either along these roads or will necessitate increased traffic (by the contractors' cars, vans and heavy goods vehicles) thus posing increased dangers and leading to more accidents."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Terry Malkin
"Major concerns: Potentially lethal consequences of fire in lithium ion storage batteries. Who will take the blame if there are fatalities? (shades of Grenfell Tower) Visual impact of thousands of solar panels on what is a "green and pleasant land". Reduction in areas of land used to grow crops for human consumption, leading to further reliance on imported food. The impact of an industrial scale disturbance on the local flora and fauna, some protected by law. The potential compulsory purchase of land, depriving people of their livelihood. The reduction in the quality of life for the inhabitants of at least five villages."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Vida Whiteley
"There is absolutely no information that Sunnica has the financial capability to carry out such a large infrastructure expenditure in a proper manner. They have claimed that they have consulted locally but continue to not come to local meetings when invited. Who have they consulted?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Patricia Judd
"I am a resident of Red Lodge and I would like to register my objection to the proposed lithium battery storage units to be sited in close proximity to two schools and four nurseries as well in the centre of a residential village with a growing population. This proposed site is also within a short distance from the A11 motorway. Should there be any fires or dangerous emissions from these lithium battery storage units an evacuation from the village would be called for, but there have been no assurances as to how exactly this would be managed given the size of the plant and the limited Police and Fire Brigade and Emergency services in this area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Steve Wilson
"The size and scale of the proposal"
Parish Councils
Reach Parish Council
"Reach PC has particular concerns about the following aspects of this application: - the visual impact of infrastructure at Weirs Drove substation on the surrounding landscape - the public health and environmental risks of battery storage."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andy Gillett
"As a resident of Isleham, I fully understand the size of the proposed energy farm. But I understand it because I’ve taken it on myself to research it. The information that has been provided by Sunnica has been virtually nonexistent!! The sheer size of it is unbelievable. If something like this is allowed to be approved, given there is so much local opposition, then there must be something else going on. The people who will be effected most by this decision must be heard!!!!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Bob Brotchie
"I contest and object to the proposal for such a large solar farm in and around our wonderful rural life and arable land with it's associated negative environmental and amenity impact - and the risk of fire. I am also opposed to the sheer volume of disruption to all aspects of our locality in constructing and mainatining such huge operations, such as the impact on roads infrastructure that can barely witstand current levels and in the event of contingency, such as when the nearby A11 is closed."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hazel Barber
"Impact of works Local resident"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lance Stanbury
"I am the County Councillor for Mildenhall Division, which covers two parishes, (Freckenham and Worlington) which will be significantly affected by the proposed solar farm being located around these villages. I, and my constituents, have expressed serious concern over the following issues: - Batteries: the large size of the batteries (banned in Arizona), the concern over thermal runaway should they catch fire and the emission of noxious gases, is a serious risk to local people. Current legislation has not caught up with the battery technology which is forcing local fire services to develop their own fire strategy, which may not be adequate. No assessment of other battery fires has been considered by Sunnica, meaning that it is an untested and dangerous technology, - Traffic: the quantity of traffic of HGV movements, through small villages over two years, with an estimated 841 staff vehicles for 1,260 staff working on site, will cause significant local noise and congestion, - Scale: the proposed size is 20 times larger than average farms, measuring over 2,115 football pitches. It will cover hectares of good quality arable land, blighting the visual aspect of the countryside, -Wildlife: the area is a haven for ground nesting birds, feeding for migrating birds, flight corridors and the farmland, -Trading, not Green: the scheme is being designed primarily to store cheap energy to export it for profit with absolutely no benefit to local residents, and it will not create any local jobs, -Screening: planting will not create screening for 5 years and no compensation will be offered for blighted property values. -Local Opposition: local residents have been campaigning against the Sunnica proposal for almost two years, and no, politician, group, organisation or local authority is in favour of the solar farm as proposed."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Paul Simeon Ryan
"I oppose the scheme proposals for the following reasons (amongst others): Lack of proper assessment of environmental impact - there needs to be quantification of the current positive environmental impact of the land to be developed and proper recognition of this value in the assessment of the scheme. At present the assessment focuses on the mitigation of the negative impact of implementation rather than the additional necessary consideration of the positive environmental value of the land that will be consumed by the scheme Negative Environmental impact - unprecedented size of potentially hazardous battery storage plants, huge scale of scheme causing major disruption across a wide area and lack of consideration of site alternatives, which should be a duty of care on all such proposals Loss of food- generating farming land - the pandemic has highlighted the need for "home-grown" food supply to support the population in times of urgent need Lack of coordinated policy - whilst not flouncing current rules , the scheme proposal is opportunistic; there needs to be a country wide assessment of all land and other sources of solar energy generation and also other areas of connection to the grid. In addition work needs to be carried out to assess the most environmentally efficient scale of scheme, rather than simply saying "bigger is better" (as in this scheme proposal) in order to take advantage of the urgent increasing need for sustainable energy sources"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Amy Rayment
"Living very local to where the Sunnica Energy Farm is proposed to be, I am very concerned about the safety of myself and my family. There has been very limited information given avout the battery units used and what could potentially happen if they were to overheat or catch fire. I can't help but feel that Sunnica do not actually know the answer to this! There has been very limited information given in general, so how can the local people be expected to be supporting the solar farm. I am all for solar energy but is the safety and the feelings of the local people not more important?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Amy Thomas
"I frequently visit the area and am strongly opposed to this development, which would damage the local environment and present a number of significant ongoing risks to the local community. The number of concerns relating to this project are numerous and relate to but not limited to the following 1) Loss of arable farm land - we are a country increasingly isolated yet reliant on outside sources for food. This farmland has been producing food for decades and its loss would be extensive. 2) I am hugely concerned regarding the number and placement of batteries and the devastation that these would cause to health should there be an occurrence of a fire. It is well documented that it is almost impossible to extinguish a battery fire. The toxic smoke would travel for miles and any fallout could render farmland unfit for crops and residential land unsalable. 3) There is no decommissioning plan. I suspect that this development will be passed around and around as it fails to produce the results that the developers are proposing and will eventually close with no decommission plan or funds in place. 4) Loss of countryside walks will be extensive. The footpaths may remain, however given that they are to be hemmed in by a solar panel farm removes their definition of countryside. We look to the planning inspectorate to protect our countryside, homes, food source, nature and wildlife. The inspectorate should not support a scheme which will be a blot on our landscape for decades to come and will no doubt result in some government intervention to clean up the inevitable mess which will be left behind. This development should be rejected."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Carole Thomas
"The number of concerns relating to this project are numerous and relate to but not limited to the following 1) Loss of arable farm land - we are a country increasingly isolated yet reliant on outside sources for food. This farmland has been producing food for decades and its loss would be extensive. 2) I am hugely concerned regarding the number and placement of batteries and the devastation that these would cause to health should there be an occurrence of a fire. it is well documented that it is almost impossible to extinguish a battery fire. The toxic smoke would travel for miles and any fallout could render farmland unfit for crops and residential land unsellable. 3) There is no decommissioning plan. I suspect that this development will be passed around and around as it fails to produce the results that the developers are proposing and will eventually close with no decommission plan or funds in place. 4) Loss of countryside walks will be extensive. Yes the footpaths may remain however given that they are to be hemmed in by solar panel removes their definition of countryside. We look to the planning inspectorate to protect our countryside, homes, food source, nature and wildlife. The inspectorate should not support a scheme which will be a blot on our landscape for decades to come and will no doubt result in some government intervention to clean up the inevitable mess which will be left behind. This development should be rejected."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Colin Bernard lister
"I have lived in this village for 64years born here in [Redacted] it is an agricultural village . Our roads are not big enough to accommodate heavy industrial machinery without severely disfiguring the character of the village and its way of life . If this planning application was approved you as the planning inspectorate would be responsible for condemning us to an industrial site . We would lose wildlife ,birds,insects and animals. There is danger of toxic fumes in the event of fire ! I fully understand the need for solar energy , wind farms etc. Please ! Refuse this application from sunnica ."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Esther McVee
"I am concerned about the scale of the project, and Sunnica Ltd have no experience of building such a large scale project. Whilst I support solar energy the immense scale of this project will create a huge carbon footprint with the importation of panels and batteries from China. The greenfield sites that are being used are good quality agricultural land and provide habitats for wildlife and fauna. I am concerned that following the scheme the land will be considered 'brownfield' and therefore further development will take place, eroding our countryside landscape. There is no additional meaningful local employment that will be provided by this large scale development."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lucinda Wright
"I am objecting to this application. This scheme is far far too big for its location - effecting too many village communities. The scheme wiggles around 7 villages effecting views, house prices and rural lifestyles. It is an immense leap from the existing largest solar farm in England to the size of this one It takes too much farmland out of production. It is not true that it is all low-grade farmland. This land is unlikely ever to return to being farmed but moreover will most probably become development sites even more offensive to the local community I don't believe that this scheme by the nature of its scale and set up will ever be carbon neutral The battery energy storage compounds are incompatibly large with the amount of solar these panels alone will produce so I presume they will be buying off the grid, storing and selling. How does this effect the 'green' energy proposed ? Sunnica have failed to communicate in meetings with the local communities concerns. I am very worried as to who will be overseeing the proposed 2 years of set up, the immense disruption it will bring to 7 villages and if indeed Sunnica will stick to the plan they will have outlined. And, equally worried as to who will be in charge of the decommissioning - where will over 1,000000 solar panels go and how long would that all take? The sites for the panels are too far from the Sunnica Electricity station the far side of Burwell. Therefore too many people are disrupted and the scheme is vastly too large. I so pray the totally inappropriate nature of this scheme will be understood - thank you!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Oliver Thomas
"The number of concerns relating to this project are numerous and relate to but not limited to the following 1) Loss of arable farm land - we are a country increasingly isolated yet reliant on outside sources for food. This farmland has been producing food for decades and its loss would be extensive. 2) I am hugely concerned regarding the number and placement of batteries and the devastation that these would cause to health should there be an occurrence of a fire. it is well documented that it is almost impossible to extinguish a battery fire. The toxic smoke would travel for miles and any fallout could render farmland unfit for crops and residential land unsellable. 3) There is no decommissioning plan. I suspect that this development will be passed around and around as it fails to produce the results that the developers are proposing and will eventually close with no decommission plan or funds in place. 4) Loss of countryside walks will be extensive. Yes the footpaths may remain however given that they are to be hemmed in by solar panel removes their definition of countryside. We look to the planning inspectorate to protect our countryside, homes, food source, nature and wildlife. The inspectorate should not support a scheme which will be a blot on our landscape for decades to come and will no doubt result in some government intervention to clean up the inevitable mess which will be left behind. This development should be rejected."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Stephen Wilson
"1. The consultation process for the local community has been inadequate. I do not believe I have received sufficient or full information about the project in order to understand properly all the implications for myself and the local community. Nor have I been given sufficient opportunity to make considered and constructive representations. 2. On the basis of what I can discern the project is a long term industrial development which will deprive the local and wider community of valuable agricultural and amenity land. I have seen no indication of any constructive efforts to mitigate these impacts which will be total for the local community. 3. I have seen no realistic evidence that the land will or is capable of being returned eventually to agricultural and amenity use: the industrialisation of a wide area or countryside will therefore be permanent. 4. I have seen no evidence that the harmful effects on the local community during construction (disruption, noise, traffic) will be effectively mitigated. 5. I have seen no evidence that the entity involved in the development has the financial backing or relevant expertise to enter into, to complete or to operate the undertaking or to keep to any operational or financial covenants or guarantees that it might be required to enter into. The company making the application is a small company which on the basis of the latest filing of filleted accounts at Companies House has net liabilities and is therefore technically insolvent. It is clear that there is a complex chain of ownership going ultimately to overseas principals based in Spain and/or elsewhere. There has been no clarity provided however as to the identity, track record or funding sources or commitments of these offshore principals, and the applicant is on the face of it merely a small technically insolvent company with no track record or history of any involvement in any such a project."
Members of the Public/Businesses
André Ciantar
"1.The designated land is prime farming land which we need to grow our own food. This is crucial now we have left the EU 2. It will include dangerous batteries the size of apartment blocks very close to schools, houses and a military airbase. Smaller batteries in other countries (and in Liverpool) have caught fire causing noxious fumes, and been impossible to extinguish-being left to burn out. There are no set provisions for the safe disposal of the toxic batteries also What provisions are in place to cover the cost of this should the company cease trading or go bust. 3.It will surround several villages right up to gardens of homes. 4. It will take over two years of lorry movements to build it using small country roads. 5. It will blight high quality agricultural land which will become industrial land if the solar plant goes ahead 6. The batteries are only there to store energy from the grid at night to sell for a profit at higher daytime rates. This is not green energy production this is a storage facility and should not form part of this green energy application. 7. It's part owned by a Spanish developer who will get half the profits. Locals will not benefit at all. It is a money making venture rather than a green energy project. Will uk tax be paid? 8. The are thousands of commercial and residential roofs that would generate just as much energy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Emma Ryan
"Agricultural land As you can imagine this significant development is of huge concern to us and the local community of Worlington and Freckenham. Change of use to this excellent agricultural land should not be allowed. This is prime agricultural land in the countryside (of which 95% of the proposed development is arable) and this is outside the developmental framework. The South bank of the River Lark where this development is proposed is still a classic Fenland landscape. This development will have huge impact on the Fenland landscape and the River Lark! The number of species that occupy this area all year round is extensive, and we offer habitats fir very rare species. The road systems are extremely narrow and bends making passing traffic extremely difficult. I would like you to question why on top quality agriculture land? Why on classic fenland fertile area? Why do you believe this will help our carbon footprint and the environment? This is prime countryside agribusiness area? The majority of this is away from any major road systems and commercial. This development will ruin this land for several generations to come! Please consider this plan very carefully making sure you appreciate the land snd locations!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hayley Fisher
"Large amounts of produce are grown and matured on this land; Potatoes, carrots, onions, wheat, barley, rye, sugar beet, maize, livestock. Over the past years food costs are rising as quick if not quicker than energy. Your proposal for solar energy does not balance out the loss of the outputs from this land. The unethical mining of the lithium for the batteries is completely unacceptable. These unethical sourced batteries also pose a huge fire risk as well as air pollution and at present if they were to catch fire there is no way of putting them out. The Ickneild Way footpath has been a public highway and has been for 2000+ years. Most days the car park, as you enter Snailwell, is full. On several occasions I have counted at least 40+ different people that I passed by on a 45 minute walk. The walk is used by many people in the area. It is used as a commuter route (being the only footpath to newmarket), by many dog walkers, and by people wanting to exercise. This is also the only footpath in the area that is accessible 24/7 for wheelchair users. There are a number of people that have reduced mobile that rely on having access to this to be able to get out in the countryside, the same goes for mothers with pushchairs. There is not an alternative that can be used if this was closed. The roads that you are proposing we walk on as an alternative are unsafe for people walking or exercising. There is a huge amount of traffic already using these roads, making them dangerous at the best of times, let alone with the huge increase in lorries that you are proposing also use these routes during the construction period. The roads are already in a dire state, you cannot fit a lorry down them with on-coming traffic without them having to take large chunks out of the verges. The road has seen an increase in traffic from the works on the newmarket A14 recently and it is evident that it cannot cope with that. This is a massive risk to all, and a serious accident will happen."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jessica Ciantar
"I am objecting to the application of sunnica solar farm. - The first is the use of prime farmland that is currently used to grow crops and live stock. As population increases, particularly in this area, we will need precious farmland to feed everyone. This is really important now with the us leaving the EU. This land should be protected as farmland. - The building of the solar farm will disrupt local wildlife and eco systems as well as generating noise and air pollution. - The batteries proposed are extremely large. Smaller batteries in other countries have previously set on fire. This is an issue with the Suffolk proposed sight as it backs on to peoples homes as well as being closely located near schools. - The company is half owned by a Spanish developer. This means the local economy will not profit in any way. It is highly unlikely that the company will put money into local communities to compensate for the damage that will be caused from the two years of building and subsequent years of damage."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jim Wallace
"I would like to object to the Sunnica Energy Farm as it will destroy the surrounding countryside for several generations with little or no local benefit."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Joanna Frost
"We have amazingly beautiful countryside around us full of wildlife and farming that will be lost forever. The farmers markets and rural community is unique to this area, where else do you see pigs being kept in such a free range happy outdoor environment and local food being sold by the edge of the roads in our villages. People are happy and enjoy the simple rural lives that they lead, dog walkers enjoying their country walks and people riding bikes and horses alike. If Sunnica is allowed to happen all this will be lost to concrete, panels, noise and pipeworks. This is our home and lives that are in jeopardy.The area around Worlington, Frekenham, Snailwell and golf links road are Some of the prettiest areas in the region, why destroy it!! Once it's gone its gone and will become brownland, lost forever. Being green isn't just about renewable energy it's also about saving our beautiful green spaces. Solar panels if used should be spread across our country in different areas with sensitivity to areas uniqueness and diversity not just dumped in one area because it's cost effective."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Bridges
"I lived in Kennet for 24 years, worshipped in Chippenham, and have moved temporarily to Saffron Walden for family reasons. I strongly object to this huge, unsightly, dangerous and misrepresented scheme for many reasons, including: 80% of the profits from the Sunnica scheme come from the battery energy storage, not the solar panels..ie it is an energy price arbitrage system not a solar farm. The BESS batteries are known to be dangerous and the fire suppression system cant put out the battery fire since it is very powerful. Fire brigades just let them burn out. And the BESS are near houses and schools, not very clever It takes c 3,000 acres of very good agricultural land out of use for 40 years..this is not sensible in a post Brexit age. The Sunnica consultation was very poor and should be re-done Small nuclear would be a better bet, safe, small footpring, reliable, always available etc.. as in France. Having previously lived in Kennett for 25 years, I strongly object to this massive and dangerous solar farm scheme for many reasons: 1. BESS is not safe; the fire extinguisher system will not put out a fierce battery fire 2. Solar panels are mostly made in China using slave labour 3. Solar panels are very inefficient, c 20%, and degrade over time 4. 80% of the profit from this scheme comes from the BESS, arbitraging the hourly energy price. So only 20% of profit comes from the 3,000 acre solar farm 5. The area applied for is FAR too big and takes out valuable high quality arable land 6. No local agency or Council supports this massive dreadful scheme."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Karen Robinson
"I am very concerned about the safety of the battery storage and the close proximity of the development to villages and schools. Other issues are the size and the amount of farm land that will be lost. In a time when we should be increasing the self sufficiency of our country. Green energy should be exactly that and this form of solar energy isn’t. There will also be a huge cost to local wildlife and the biodiversity of the area and also destroying the beautiful landscape. There’s been absolutely no thought to what this will do to the area and the affect it will have on the residents!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lesley Wilson
"1. The consultation process for the local community has been not been adequate. I have not received sufficient or full information about the project in order to understand properly all the implications for myself and the local community. Nor have I been given sufficient opportunity to make considered and constructive representations. 2. As far as I can see the project is a long term industrial development which will deprive the local and wider community of valuable agricultural and amenity land. I have seen no credible efforts to mitigate these impacts which will be total for the local community in particular and will result in the permanent loss of food-producing land. 3. I have seen no realistic evidence that the land will or is capable of ever being returned eventually to agricultural and/or amenity use: the industrialisation of a the local countryside will therefore be devastating and permanent. 4. I cannot see that the harmful effects on the local community during construction (disruption, noise, traffic) will be effectively mitigated or controlled. 5. It does not appear that the entity involved in the development has the financial backing or relevant expertise to enter into, to complete or to operate the undertaking nor to keep to any operational, financial or post project covenants or guarantees that it might be required to enter into. The company making the application is a small company which on the basis of the latest filing of shortform accounts at Companies House has net liabilities and is therefore apparently insolvent. It is clear that there is a complex chain of ownership going ultimately to overseas principals based in Spain and/or elsewhere. There has been no clarity provided however as to the identity, track record or funding sources or commitments of these offshore principals, and the applicant does not appear in any sense a suitable entity to undertake a project of such scale. 6. I understand that the battery energy storage compounds will be the largest in the world: I understand that Sunnica Ltd has no experience of building or operating such facilities. 7. It appears there will be no economic or financial benefit to the UK or to the local community. The storage facility will provide the ultimate offshore owners with simple and huge opportunity to profit at the expense of the grid: ie to engage in and profit from trading electricity - buying electricity produced from non renewable as well as renewable sources from the grid, storing it and selling it back to the grid when the price gives a profit, all regardless of what is generated from the project's own panels. The project will provide next to no jobs locally and I understand panels and other components will be sourced from abroad, probably the Far East. 8. Academic reports clearly show the project is not green. It will create more carbon that it will save, it will have a huge carbon footprint and so will not contribute to Carbon Zero."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Marie Beaumont
"The effect on wildlife and the noise crated by the batteries in a rural location close to the edge of villages. The plan for disposal at the end of its useful life not really a green option. Why can we not use factories, schools, hospitals, warehouses rooves instead of eating up the countryside"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Marie MacBean
"I am [Redacted] & the untried & potentially dangerous technology propose scares me. The size of over 2,000 football pitches will overwhelm the area doing untold damage eg, remove productive farm land from production, destroy wildlife & wildlife habitat for ever, cause unimaginable disruption if ever implemented, destroy the classic Breckland landscape & change the character of the area completly. I cannot believe that this is the best way to achieve the government's aim of lessening dependence on fossil fuel, with which I agree. A scheme such as this would be counter productive as it stands & should be on brown field fites. Sunnica did not even send a representative to the public meeting at Isleham on 15th October last year - it is shameful that we are being treated in this way. Marie MacBean"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Natasha Jones
"* Countryside will be lost for over 2 generations * Li-ion batteries are a massive fire risk * Loss of prime agricultural land, which will decrease food supplies and further decrease our self-sufficiency in food * It wil create more carbon in its life time than it ever saves * If this goes ahead it will reduce the value of our property * It will create increased heavy machinery in the countryside to build."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nicholas Bennett
"I object to this project as it will render good farmland out of use for at least a couple of generations and, even after that, some areas may become only suited to commercial use representing a permanent loss of habitat for wildlife, food production and wellbeing for the local population. Any employment benefits for the local economy will be negligeable and of low value. Solar PV power generation does not represent an efficient use of productive agricultural land, especially in this country’s climate, and it will increase food miles and the distances required for vehicles to gather biomass and feed our local bio digester plant. Solar PV installations should be sited on land that is non-productive and on the roofs of large commercial buildings. Any carbon offset will be non-existent when compared to the whole life carbon cost of the project including Commissioning, manufacturing of Solar panels and battery storage, loss of productive land, food miles, and eventual (hopefully) decommissioning. It is hard to see how the decommissioning will be managed without a clear plan and a financial trust properly established to cover the expected costs. It seems this element of the project will be left for future generations to deal with as has been the case with many aspects of our lives. The apparent opaqueness regarding the battery storage technology to be installed is very concerning due to hazardous nature of the materials currently used in their manufacture and their tendency to catch fire and pollute the environment. Clearly any such occurrence will affect the surrounding communities detrimentally with respect to enforced evacuations and, potentially, their health. Current battery storage technologies offer minimal benefits for long term power grid load attenuation but do offer the possibility of high profits for providers that scavenge energy during low demand periods and sell back at inflated cost during periods of peak demand. I believe the solar PV element of this project is mainly to support this trade in power rather then to directly benefit the environment. The proposed screening of the solar arrays and battery storage plants will not be affective for many years but even this proposal misses the point as the natural beauty of this area is partly due to the wide-open areas with unobstructed views. The proposed fencing that will surround these installations will result in the area resembling a military base such as Mildenhall and Lakenheath. Whilst the importance of this country’s self-sufficiency is vitally important, energy and food production should not be seen as competing issues. We just have to be more targeted and imaginative in our solutions to combat the immediate and undeniable threat of anthropogenic climate change and tailor them to our strengths and environment. This proposal fails the last sentence on many levels and, therefore, represents a waste of energy, finances and resources when better solutions already exist. End."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Gidlow
"I cannot begin to explain why I vehemently object to this entire project, however I will try: 1.The entire area proposed is one of natural beauty that people either come to specifically to see and be in, or pass through on their way to the many other locations in the Suffolk/Norfolk/Cambridgeshire area. It will be decimated by this project. 2. Solar energy is not free when it is considered the detrimental offset of increased food miles due to food that will now have to be transported in. And, as a consequence, how is this going to help the local farming communities that already struggle to find manageable level land? The short-term gain in construction jobs will pale into insignificance when compared to the permanently lost Agricultural employment, both primary and secondary supporting jobs. 3. The principle of siting solar farms on arable land and then having to provide high risk storage facilities, and all the necessary infrastructure, near to/through high occupancy living areas is fundamentally flawed. There are millions of square metres of warehouse roof space that can be used. Warehouses that have minimal day light panels and as such have high power interior lighting on all day and night. Solar panels on the roofs would all but negate the need for high capacity storage batteries miles from the end user. What batteries that would be needed would be considerable smaller and further away from human habitats. 4. The mini nuclear reactors, being developed by Rolls Royce, would be more preferable to this plan, and I'm not a great lover of those due to the long-term consequence of nuclear waste management. 5. We are storing up environmental issues for our children and their children when it comes to decommissioning, for which there is no clear plan. 6. As I understand it the majority of these panel will come from the PRC, how does the governments ethical sourcing fit with this? 7. Rather than trying to generate more electricity, with projects such as this, more emphasis should be placed on everyone using less of it! To close, when are we going to wake up and realise, 'we cannot eat electricity, but we can eat without it'!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Thorne
"I am vehemently against the proposed raping of our beautiful and valuable countryside just to satisfy the greed of Sunnica. There are several methods available to us as a nation, to generate energy in a sustainable and green way without having to resort to imported materials from China and elsewhere in the world and which have been proven to be of dubious quality and benefit to our area or indeed our country. We cannot allow any more of our farmland to be taken from us when, we are constantly minded of our food production shortcomings. We need to invest in our country, and it starts with a desire to be the best in manufacturing, agriculture and awareness of all the alternatives put forward by Sunnica."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Pierre Nortje
"I am hopeful that this application succeeds as this is the future of energy capture & will benefit us all."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rev James Hurst
"I object to this project because it will mean a huge area of good farmland will be permanently transferred to commercial use. 1. We need to be more self sufficient as a nation, and our arable land is a precious resource. Solar energy belongs offshore where existing wind power infrastructure can manage far larger arrays. 2. Such a large area will be impossible to hide from view and will wipe out a significant section of attractive countryside, which is essential for recreation"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Robert J M Bright
"I live in the village of Worlington and and have a good knowledge of the surrounding villages. This proposal by Sunnica is outrageous and will inflict a blot on the landscape as it covers such an enormous area over and between the various villages; from which ever way you will enter the area the skyline will provide views of large areas of the panels. It will also take away valuable agricultural, whilst this land is not in the highest grade, it does provide valuable food for humans and animals at a time when the UK needs to produce a high level of its own food in order to cut down the need for imported food which is ecologically expensive to transport. I am not against renewal energy but there are other locations, other types of green energy that can be produced, for example with offshore wind farms. A major problem will be the high of lorry movements during construction for a considerable time on all the various sites of the panels but also the cabling required to link these together and then onto the National Grid. There will also be major disturbance of wildlife and their habitats, rights of ways and footpaths."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Vanessa Couch
"I consider the proposal to be vastly to big, it will have a detrimental effect on the surrounding area. It has always been a rural area, please don’t keep ruining the countryside. Bearing in mind the massive increase in electricity, would we benefit financially"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Dickson
"1.This huge solar scheme is not sustainable as it loses quality irrigatable farmland, just when the UK must increase home grown food production.This cannot be replaced somewhere else and is hugely unsustainable. 2. If approved, this will put more pressure on remaining farmland to produce food, just when the government want to encourage wildlife, rewilding, tree planting and public access on farmland.Security fencing will prevent traditional animal highways. 3. There are thousands of industrial and farm buildings which can host solar panels with no land loss. All new buildings should all be hosting solar. This electricity would be produced and used locally. That is the sustainable way ahead. 4. The scheme only offers token wildlife benefits only. All wildlife will be adversely affected by the huge scale of this scheme. 5. This scheme uses minimal UK businesses in its construction. 6. The "Say no to Sunnica Community Action Group" has produced concise and succinct arguments to prevent this scheme from being approved. 7. This scheme must be refused."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Darren Hughes
"I feel that the proposed development is not in the best interest of local people and the environment due to the following: 1. Safety concerns about the safety of a large battery storage sit on the edge of residential areas 2. A general breakdown in biodiversity and loss of wildlife in the area. 3. I don't see any evidence to suggest the use of fertile agricultural land for solar panels is a green option."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Fergus McCoig
"Crazy-paving approach to a large industry project suggests poor forethought Suspicion of ulterior motives for this project given energy production levels will be low and carbon-neutrality in question over any lifespan, or shorter Legacy brownfield sites could propel developments that utterly and irrevocably change the nature of this area"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gary Timmins
"The Sunnica project is FAR TOO LARGE for one rural area. Huge negative impact in residents where pollution, noise, traffic etc will all increase dramatically and for decades to come. Productive land will be lost probably forever. The environment, fauna and flora will all be affected negatively. Sunnica have no experience in this field, to them this is just a money making exercise. Many aspects of Sunnica’s plans are badly conceived (battery storage dangers have been all but ignored for example). No population of mainly rural villages should have to tolerate such a massive scheme…people live where they live for the joy of the countryside and wildlife…the Sunnica proposal will ruin all that people live here for."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ian Maclaren
"Health & safety concerns. Very big concerns of the toxic gases this will cause if there was a fire. It’s in close proximity to our schools and residence. It will take away valuable farm land needed for production of foods. Environmental impact. Additional traffic and contractors causing obstruction to surrounding villages Big environmental concerns at time of decommissioning. Where and how will solar panels and batteries be recycled or disposed of?. The large scale of the project. It will be one of the largest solar panel sites in Europe and it will be placed in a wonderful historical rural land full of wildlife and nature. Why can solar not be placed on commercial property such as industrial estates, supermarkets, airports and also compulsory on new build houses?. Archeological impact."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ian Threlfall
"THE COST OF REMOVING AGRICULTURAL LAND MEANS WE BECOME EVEN MORE DEPENDANT ON OVERSEAS FOOD SUPPLIES. THE CURRENT UN-CERTAINTY IN THE WORLD MAKES IT MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO BE ABLE TO FEED OURSELVES FIRST AND THEN ACHIEVE "NETT ZERO" SECOND. THE COST OF IMPORTING FOOD WILL COST FAR MORE THAN GROWING OUR OWN IN THE LONG TERM. I HAD A JAPANESE SOLAR POWERED TRANSISTOR RADIO IN THE 1960'S. TODAY 60 YEARS LATER THE BEST SUGGESTION WE CAN COME UP WITH IS " COVER PRIME AGRICULTURAL LAND WITH VAST NUMBERS OF SOLAR PANELS. THERE ARE FAR MORE SUITABLE PLACES THAT PANELS COULD BE INSTALLED. COME ON GOVERNMENT, START THINKING FORWARD NOT BACKWARDS. IAN THRELFALL"
Parish Councils
Isleham Parish Council
"This scheme is flawed. Its proposed benefits are completely outweighed by the economic, environmental and wellbeing costs, the need for increased food production and to become a more independent and economically competitive nation. There are far more efficient and less damaging ways to generate renewable electricity. We particular object to: The size, scale and positioning of this proposal which: - would completely change the rural enviroment and character of village communities in this area. - falls less than 400m from the edge of our village. The loss of prime agricultural farmland which: - produces high yielding, quality crops throughout the year - would result in increased; amounts of imported food, transportation costs, pollution and unemployment, especially agriculture related. The repalcement of beautiful rural views with: - thousands of 2.5m high solar panels - huge banks of 2 storey high batteries - visually intimidating fencing The proposed inefficient design of the project which: - is nothing more than an opportunistic, 'hotch-potch' design, based on availability of land, not efficient energy production. - includes a 15-mile supply trench, which would lose considerable amount of generated electricity The proposed technology poses unacceptable risk and dangers to the health, safety and wellbeing of residents: - Lithium-ion batteries are highly combustible, producing deadly hydrogen fluoride fumes - damage and deterioration of panels would result in significant pollution to the soil and through run off into our chalk stream, The Lee Brook. The inefficiency of the proposal and the availability of better alternatives including: - the reducing efficiency of solar panels and changing tariffs all question its viability Proposals for decommissioning the site fails to: - detail how 154,000 solar panels would be recycled or toxic waste disposed of - include a sufficient enough financial bond - set a realistic timescale for the return of the site to productive farmland. The detrimental impact that the construction proposals will have on both residents and the local environment. - none of the proposed sites are positioned on major routes. - construction would have an unacceptable detremental impact on the environment and wellbeing of residents The complete lack of effective screening and landscaping which will - destroy rural views - take between 5-10 years before planting obscures the panels and 6m high Batteries - the unrealistic grassing schedule The fi¬nancial position and professional capability of Sunnica who have: - a negative balance of £181k - no significant track record of managing such projects - have little genuine interest in renewable energy but are simply speculators Complete lack of benefits to the local community including: - the creation of few long-term local employment opportunities. - fail to supply sustainable energy to local housing - no integral requirement to benefit the local community The destruction of wildlife corridors and nesting and feeding habitats, especially of birds such as Stone Curlew, Lapwings, Marsh Harriers, Buzzards and Barn Owl. The lack of proper and diligent consultation. Sunnica have refused to undertake any direct dialogue with Isleham residents"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jeffrey Bryan Sadler
"We object to the Sunnica Energy Farm Proposal for the following Reasons. 1) The size & scale of the proposal 2) Objection to the Compulsory Acquisition Of Agricultural Land 3) Total disregard for the Environmental Impact On Wildlife 4 )Disruption to Villages during construction of the project 5) Reduction in existing Green Belt for Industrial use"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jeremy Richardson
"I entirely support the use of wind and solar power but not at the price of losing the food that is generated on the first-class agricultural land around here; land that is well irrigated and therefore grows vital food crops for the benefit of the country. Within as little as 10 miles, certainly 20, there are plenty of sites where a solar farm could be laid out with no upset and I see no problem in a solar farm connecting with the National Grid wherever it is (save for an increase in cost that is - relatively - small)."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Ryan
"I strongly appose these plans the quality of the agricultural land will be lost to this development. I wish to reject the proposal for the Sunnica. I feel that this will effect the Racing Industry,the local community and wildlife and the Lime Kilns (Which are essential and need to be kept in the relevant environment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Karin Dobbie
"I feel that good agricultural land should not be used for solar panels. It will destroy the countryside, disturb wildlife and footpaths and encroach on the racing centre of Newmarket. The battery sites will be too near to built up areas and are a danger if they were to catch fire. The plan for the area is far too big and will ruin a beautiful part of the Suffolk, Cambridgeshire countryside"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lorraine Stone
"Size, scale and location. A power plant equivalent to 2,227 football pitches on 2,500 acres of farmland is unacceptable, and disproportionate. The landscape will be blighted by 1,000,000 2.5 meter high panels, 30 miles of security fencing , over 100 acres of concrete , and 77 acres of battery compounds, which will dominate the visual amenity for miles around. It should be located on domestic and commercial roof space,on previously developed land in remote locations, not on arable land surrounding rural villages Loss of 2,500 acres of high yielding vegetable and cereal producing land will become an industrial wasteland and cannot be returned to its former use. Britain has less farmland in use than at any time since 1945 and is only 64% self-sufficient. It will increase dependency on imports and carbon miles on food transport. Destruction of wildlife habitats and disturbance of archaeological treasure with a detrimental impact for hundreds of species and 92 designated heritage assets inside or within 1km of the proposed site. Negative effect on village settings and impact on health and mental wellbeing. Two years’ intense construction, with resultant air pollution will be detrimental, especially to those with respiratory conditions. The transfer of over 1000 staff in vehicles plus 160 HGV vehicle movements per day, will over burden the highway network, create unsafe and congested country roads. The noise, glint and glare and concerns over technology believed to be dangerous, will impact on residents who will find themselves in a noisy, congested, polluted industrial landscape. These batteries are a fire risk with subsequent omission of toxic fumes, and a risk of lightning strikes, accidental damage, leaks and contamination, malfunctioning equipment and explosions and will give rise to mental health issues. The scheme would have a negative impact on the value of all properties in the affected area forever. Traffic Chaos - throughout construction contractors will bring in HGVs, including abnormal loads and 1,260 staff will be accessing the sites 6 days a week 7am to 7pm Concerns over the decommissioning of the panels. The hazardous materials are not easy to recycle and can contaminate drinking water. Whilst not an immediate issue it will affect our children and grandchildren. Loss of existing footpaths & byways forever - green routes will become corridors between rows of panels and gigantic battery compounds and no one will choose to walk through an industrial landscape. Poor Screening and inadequate buffer zones - planting native hedging will take years to grow to obscure the panels and longer to screen the battery storage units. The setbacks/buffer zones from roads, paths, and properties are totally inadequate, and will not mitigate the impact of this industrial power plant on our local communities. Sunnica has no experience building to this scale. If it became bankrupt during the project, or due to technology changes became uneconomic, who will be responsible for the failure, and decommissioning costs? Will hinder pursuit of Carbon Zero by 2050 importing panels and batteries from China will create a huge carbon footprint."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Stanley P Stone
"Size, scale and location. A power plant equivalent to 2,227 football pitches on 2,500 acres of farmland is unacceptable, and disproportionate. The landscape will be blighted by 1,000,000 2.5 meter high panels, 30 miles of security fencing , over 100 acres of concrete , and 77 acres of battery compounds, which will dominate the visual amenity for miles around. It should be located on domestic and commercial roof space,on previously developed land in remote locations, not on arable land surrounding rural villages Loss of 2,500 acres of high yielding vegetable and cereal producing land will become an industrial wasteland and cannot be returned to its former use. Britain has less farmland in use than at any time since 1945 and is only 64% self-sufficient. It will increase dependency on imports and carbon miles on food transport. Destruction of wildlife habitats and disturbance of archaeological treasure with a detrimental impact for hundreds of species and 92 designated heritage assets inside or within 1km of the proposed site. Negative effect on village settings and impact on health and mental wellbeing. Two years’ intense construction, with resultant air pollution will be detrimental, especially to those with respiratory conditions. The transfer of over 1000 staff in vehicles plus 160 HGV vehicle movements per day, will over burden the highway network, create unsafe and congested country roads. The noise, glint and glare and concerns over technology believed to be dangerous, will impact on residents who will find themselves in a noisy, congested, polluted industrial landscape. These batteries are a fire risk with subsequent omission of toxic fumes, and a risk of lightning strikes, accidental damage, leaks and contamination, malfunctioning equipment and explosions and will give rise to mental health issues. The scheme would have a negative impact on the value of all properties in the affected area forever. Traffic Chaos - throughout construction contractors will bring in HGVs, including abnormal loads and 1,260 staff will be accessing the sites 6 days a week 7am to 7pm Concerns over the decommissioning of the panels. The hazardous materials are not easy to recycle and can contaminate drinking water. Whilst not an immediate issue it will affect our children and grandchildren. Loss of existing footpaths & byways forever - green routes will become corridors between rows of panels and gigantic battery compounds and no one will choose to walk through an industrial landscape. Poor Screening and inadequate buffer zones - planting native hedging will take years to grow to obscure the panels and longer to screen the battery storage units. The setbacks/buffer zones from roads, paths, and properties are totally inadequate, and will not mitigate the impact of this industrial power plant on our local communities. Sunnica has no experience building to this scale. If it became bankrupt during the project, or due to technology changes became uneconomic, who will be responsible for the failure, and decommissioning costs? Will hinder pursuit of Carbon Zero by 2050 importing panels and batteries from China will create a huge carbon footprint."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Christopher Mason
"I object to this project because it will mean a huge area of good arable farmland will be permanently transferred to commercial use. We need to be more self sufficient as a nation, and our arable land is a precious resource. Solar energy belongs on poor quality land or offshore, where existing wind power infrastructure can manage far larger arrays. A project of this size will be impossible to hide from view and will wipe out a significant section of attractive countryside, which is essential for recreation."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Neil Gibson
"Living in Burwell I object to the Sunnica Energy Farm as it will impact on my local area and has fundamental flaws that everyone in the UK should be aware of and be concerned about:- A few of these are listed below. This list is not difinative:- The farm uses prime agricultural land which should be kept for food production. Other areas should be used such as top of buildigs and floating instalations in the sea. We cannot afford to lose this agricultural land. The farm will have a masive visual impact. This should not be imposed on residents. The batteries can catch fire and release toxic gasses. There is a masive environmental impact on animals plants and forna. No or minimal local employment or benefit. Any profits go to a spanish company FROM Neil Gibson BSc CEng FICE"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ricky Cornish
"I am very concerned about the following : Size and Location - not far from a lot of housing and schools Dangerous Size of the batteries and how safe they really are ! At least 2 years of Lorry traffic causing all sorts of problems The use of high quality farming land being used !"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Russell Leaman
"- Batteries: the large size of the storage batteries (banned in Arizona), the concern over thermal runaway should they catch fire and the emission of noxious gases, is a serious risk to local people. Current legislation has not caught up with the battery technology which is forcing local fire services to develop their own fire strategy, which may not be adequate. No assessment of other battery fires has been considered by Sunnica, meaning that it is an untested and dangerous technology, - Traffic: the quantity of traffic of HGV movements, through small villages over two years, with an estimated 841 staff vehicles for 1,260 staff working on site, will cause significant local noise and congestion, - Scale: the proposed size is 20 times larger than average farms, measuring over 2,115 football pitches. It will cover hectares of good quality arable land, blighting the visual aspect of the countryside, -Wildlife: the area is a haven for ground nesting birds, feeding for migrating birds, flight corridors and the farmland, -Trading, not Green: the scheme is being designed primarily to store cheap energy to export it for profit with absolutely no benefit to local residents, and it will not create any local jobs, -Screening: planting will not create screening for 5 years and no compensation will be offered for blighted property values. -Local Opposition: local residents have been campaigning against the Sunnica proposal for almost two years, and no group, organisation or local authority is in favour of the solar farm as proposed"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sean Gilgunn
"I object to this project because it will mean a significant area of farmland will be permanently lost to commercial use. As a nation, we need to be more self sufficient and protect our arable land as a precious resource. Such a large area will be impossible to hide from view and will wipe out a significant section of attractive countryside, which is essential for recreation."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tom Gallop
"I object to this project because it will mean a huge area of good agricultural land will be permanently transferred to commercial use. 1. We need to be more self sufficient as a nation, and our arable land is a precious resource. Solar energy belongs offshore where existing wind power infrastructure can manage far larger arrays. 2. Such a large area will be impossible to hide from view and will wipe out a significant section of attractive countryside, which is essential for recreation and wellbeing."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brian Challis
"I object to this Application as for a start it is really a Battery Storage Farm as opposed to a Solar Farm as such. I have grave concerns regarding the safety of the planned storage Batteries, and the fact that they will be sited close to Villages, with increasing housing, and Schools. Sunnica have failed to engage/consult with Villagers apart from an intial exhibition at the start, and attending a Public meeting on 9th March 2022 - eight days prior to the deadline for submitting this form, when answers to concerns re safety were not reassuring. Much of the land where the "Farm" is proposed to be sited on is land where WHEAT has been successfully grown for years, and at a time when this Country is loooking to rely on imports far less it seems inconsevable to lose so many acres of Farmland. Also one site, in ISLEHAM, is where 12 Airmen died when their Bomber Aircraft, fully ladden with LIVE Bombs, crashed shortly after take off from RAF Lakenheath after catching fire and flown away from the Village of Isleham to avoid further loss of life. This field is effectively their final resting place, due to the size of the explosion. There would appear to be much more less furtile land closer to Burwell Main Sub Station, where I understand power stored in the proposed Batteries will be supplied to, and not close to housing etc., that has never been mention as a site."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Harry Sidebottom
"The proposal by Sunnica would ruin over 2,000 acres of countryside and have a catastrophic effect on the lives of the inhabitants of several villages."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julia Theophilus
"I object to this project because it will mean a huge area of good farmland will be permanently transferred to commercial use. 1. We need to be more self sufficient as a nation, and our arable land is a precious resource. Solar energy belongs offshore where existing wind power infrastructure can manage far larger arrays. 2. Such a large area will be impossible to hide from view and will wipe out a significant section of attractive countryside,which is essential for recreation and will also destroy wildlife habitats and consequently inhabitants 3. The increase traffic during construction and maintenance will also have a negative impact of residents in huge area, noise, pollution and safety of residents"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kevin Wright
"I object to this scheme based on the following: 1. We have lost enough countryside in Burwell to lose any more. 2. I believe that there will be a new 12m high Substation to be built in Burwell. Enough Already 3. The fact that no meaningful local employment will be generated from such a scheme 4. 2,500 greenfield land lost to this scheme/project 5. The devastating loss of wildlife"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mark Fletcher
"*huge scale of project blights countryside and destroys farming land *serious concern about battery safety *panels will cover the area where 12 aircrew were killed when their Boeing B-50 Superfortress crashed trying to avoid Isleham * no guarantee by Sunnica that land will be or can be restored * no local benefit"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mark Goldsack
"Despitae acceptance to the contrary the good folk of \Isleham have not been afforded fair opportunity to debate this application. In addition what we see now is an unjust and ill thought out plan to site undeclared battery types that shoudl they have issues will pollute the neighbouring water courses namely the Lee Brook and surrounding area. Water run off from any event must be stopped from enetering the water course as predominantly chalk aquafers mean that contaminated water will enter the system. The whole scheme is an unwarranted attack on the eco system of East cambs and west suffolk, bringing in a monoculture that is stated by Cranfield university to not only be non-carbon neutral through its life but one that will also blight the countryside with excessive journeys for freight and goods. One final point from me is the incorrect classification of the land type. The local land is no where near as poor as signalled and needs proper investigation, not the incorrect truths of the proposer."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Furlonger
"1. I don't believe Golf Links Road in Worlington should form any part of the scheme, most especially during the construction stage. 2. The right of quiet enjoyment for the members at Royal Worlington and Newmarket Golf Club should not be compromised during the construction and operation of this project nor damage the world class reputation the Club and course currently enjoy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Veronica Turner
"The impact on our beautiful countryside and the Agricultural land that is being taken over. The enormous batteries that are being used, noise pollution and danger of them exploding and causing fires. The impact on our wildlife, roads and villages caused by the disruption whilst building this Solar Plant. The Impact on Farmers and Landowners having their land taken off them by Compulsory Acquisition. How will these Solar Panels be removed when they reach the end of their use, and how will they be disposed of."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anglian Learning
"I am writing as CEO of the Trust responsible for The Pines Primary School, Red Lodge. Having reviewed the documentation relating to the development, and further materials relating to this technology, we as an organisation are of the opinion that the proposal, as it stands, constitutes an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of the children and staff at the school. In particular, while fire prevention and control measures are stated at length, there would still appear to be substantial concerns about the difficulty of extinguishing such fires and the risk of serious airborne contamination leading to the emergency and rapid evacuation of, when complete, a large primary school only 1.5 miles away. Until these issues can be addressed to our satisfaction, including the outcomes of an independent investigation into the fire that started in similar technology in Liverpool, we object to this proposal."
Members of the Public/Businesses
The Hemp Store on behalf of Ann Thornalley
"I would like to register my objections. The hemming in of the oldest pilgrim way to Walsingham (green Lane between Worligton and Elms Road). It will become a ghostly way bewteen concrete, steel and glass. The development is too massive It will rob good vegetable growing land which will be important in the future as imports/air miles are cut. For 2/3 years local people will have to suffer large lorries, detours, disruption and we wont even benefit from the solar power! The huge batteries to store the electricity will not benefit the local community when the electricity is sold off to the higheat bidder. We will be surronded by barren contryside. I have lived here all of my [Redacted] and do not wish to see this project go ahead."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jenny Moss
"Management of land beneath and around Sunnica solar PV arrays during operational phase Overall, I support the Sunnica application, but have concerns about site management once the construction phase is over and the operational phase begins. Habitat for pollinators is declining globally, threatening the health of both wild and agricultural ecosystems. The Sunnica project provides a wonderful opportunity to create a huge area of grassland, managed for the benefit of wildflowers, wildlife and pollinators. Disappointingly, this has not been included in the application. I have read The Environmental Statement (Vol 6, 6.1 Chapter 8, Ecology and Nature Conservation) but could find nothing on this topic. The document explains how hedges, woodland, offsetting areas and grassland areas within the sites are to be managed sensitively with regard to biodiversity and other environmental concerns, but it does not deal with the land beneath the actual PV arrays. This is a serious omission, as the PV solar arrays will cover approximately 80% of the total area. Whilst welcome, the designated wildflower zones included in the application are insufficient. The application should be revised to specify the creation and maintenance of wildflower-rich grassland below the PV arrays, including details of the proposed mowing regime. This is a unique opportunity to create hundreds of acres of biodiverse, pollinator-friendly habitat. When seeking planning consent, it is easy for developers to talk about natural methods of grass and weed control. Unfortunately, in reality, operators often rely on herbicides and/or regular mowing, which eradicate or suppress wildflowers. For that reason, consent, if given, should include financial penalties for non-compliance."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Margaret A Lowe
"RIGHT TO A HAPPY HEALTHY LIFE. My husband and I grew-up in the industrial North West. We moved to our current address in Worlington in 1990 to pursue a "country life-style". We have dogs and ponies, a few hens and grow vegetables. Now, in retirement, we can enjoy the things that we have built to the full. The Sunnica proposal put our happiness and well-being at risk. To site a development of this kind close to vllages and in our case within 150 yards of our home cannot be seen as reasonable by any thinking person. ENYOYMENT OF WILD-LIFE. The land between Worlington and the A11 is rich in wild-life and provides us with much enjoyment. Owls at midnight, buzzards at miday,early morning deer and hares all day are, amongst many others, ( flocks of gulls following the plough. Flocks of homing rooks) thing that would be lost if this proposal were to be accepted. COST/BENEFIT. There are those better qualified tha me who will argue the point but it is difficult to see why the taxpayer sould fund this proposal. If the benefit, in purely financial terms, was ever eventually match the initial cost better systems (perhaps nuclear) will be available."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Pamela Wilson
"1.There is NO infrastructure to substantiate building on the site. 2. Our house boundaries are on Silver Street AND North Street. At this point, these two streets are the only route to the designated area. There is an abundance of HGV travel 24/7 already which is noisy and shakes the foundations to dislodge prints on the wall."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rosalyn Bartlett
"I am very against sonica taking over our village and all the agricultural land !!!! Also I believe it is dangerous and I don’t want to live with dangerous batteries so close by !!! All the large equipment going through the village will be hazardous and spoil the roads !!! There are so many open spaces to build on that won’t disrupt villages !!!!!!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Simon Foreman
"I object to this proposal on a number of grounds : 1) the scale of the project is inappropriate for the area, being over 10 times larger than any other operational solar plant in the UK 2) the project takes a large area of high quality agricultural land out of production 3) battery storage sites of this scale provide an unacceptable risk to the local communities (fires are not unknown, thermal runaway is possible, lithium gasses are highly poisonous 4) the premise of the application is a distortion. It is essentially a battery storage facility hidden in a solar park."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Annabel Freestone
"• I do NOT want this to go ahead • I do not want countryside to be lost • plant trees to help environment- dont lay over 100 acres of concrete"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Frances Sidebottom
"Sunnica’s proposed development would ruin over 2,000 acres of productive and beautiful countryside, and have a terrible effect on at least three communities. It is unsustainable, having an operating life of some forty years, and containing no realistic plans for decommissioning. The proposed industrial batteries pose a serious risk. It is a cynical attempt to obtain planning consent flying a false flag of green energy. Devastating 2,500 acres of countryside is an ironic way of saving the planet."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jill Worth
"I object to the proposed Sunnica solar farm development in its current form for the following reasons: 1. It is far too large many times larger than other solar farms in the UK. It will be an eyesore and a blight on the attractive landscape of the surrounding rural area. 2. It covers hundreds of acres of good arable land. Britain cannot grow enough food to be self sufficient as it is and this land currently grows good vegetables crops for the nation 3. There is concern about the safety of the storage batteries. There is a large number of large battery storages and Sunnica had no experience of managing battery storage on this scale. 4. During the lengthy construction period there will be large numbers of heavy lorries driving through our villages which will be a danger to local people especially children. 5. The proposed sites are too near to several villages. In summary, the solar farm is far too large and too close to the local villages. I would like the Sunnica proposal to be revised to a significantly smaller solar farm which is located more discreetly away from local villages and well screened by hedges and trees."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julia O’Dwyer
"There was no adequate consultation carried out. The infrastructure will not be able to accommodate such a huge project. There are no plans in place in case of a fire or to decommission the plant in future. Given the close proximity to the villages and schools there needs to be further consultations to establish the project is safe and doesn’t cause congestion or other dangers. Disruption to wildlife etc."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Linda Porter-Cohen
"1. why take good productive farmland out of production? surely there are less fertile areas. we are told to try to become more self suffient; this is totally against advice. 2. the batteries. how do we know these are safe? there are reports of Lithium batteries going up in flames and no way to put them out. also i understand the fumes are noctious. 3. our local roads are not equipped to deal with the amount of lorries that we are told will be here working. i drive horse carriages and would no longer be able to access the roads safely, and possibly some of the paths i use. we don't want thundering vehicles disturbing the peace of our countryside & also affecting the wild life & fauna."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lisa Sidebottom
"The use of good agricultural land. Destroying the beautiful countryside. The possible danger from the large batteries close to villages."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Matt Stannard
"This development has an impact on me as it is in the community where I live, not only will it mean an immense amount of disruption during construction if approved, it takes away areas of wildlife, countryside and has a potentially long lasting damaging impact, thus I am very interested."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Paul Pickles
"I object to the Sunnica energy farm being constructed because it is much too large and will have a massive impact on this area. The Sunnica energy farm would take up too much land that could be used for agricultural production, conservation or rewilding areas. Solar farms will have a visual impact on the surrounding areas, giving an industrial feeling to the whole area. The BESS is a new technology which maybe inefficient or at risk of catching fire."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ryan Collen
"Do not allow. This is against local peoples wishes. Its too big, not thought through. Offers nothing to the local community, no jobs, no infrastructure, no benefits to local businesses and nothing to the local economy. It only detracts from a good area to live in, increases noise pollution and potential problems if there was a serious incident on the proposed site ie fire its the residents that would be inconvenienced which is totally unacceptable for something we don't want. This must be refused."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Samantha Munro
"I fully and completely object to the proposed Sunnica Solar Farm, or any other Solar Scheme, that is large in size that includes any battery storage surrounding settlements.. Solar on large scale is known not to be that effective in its energy production and lifespan of efficiency declines rapidly over early years. I don’t feel it’s carbon efficient. Many aspects and concerns of residents have been ignored. Questions are not answered. When information is provided it is inadequate and not believable. The information I have found seems to conflict with that of Sunnica. There are serious safety concerns that I have and am not happy with the scheme having any battery storage facilities whatsoever. If the scheme is designed to help climate change then batteries are counter productive and are there purely to make the developer money. I have been given no valid reason why it could not be sited elsewhere or reasons why it had to be surrounding settlements and in such scale. I feel that the Decommissioning of a scheme this size is unlikely to happen. Where do you put 1.1m panels just from this scheme, let alone the many sites already in the UK or in planning. Ship it overseas, like we seem to with a majority of hard to recycle items. Even bigger carbon foot print from so called green solar schemes. I dispute the soil gradings quoted by Sunnica and must insist that a totally independent survey is carried out on all land included in the scheme. The local area is high grade agricultural land, growing a diverse array of crops for many years. We simply cannot allow land of this growing quality to become industrialised and then become ‘brown field’ when spent leading to development. We cannot afford to lose quality productive farming land, gambling on it being restorable. Our country’s food security is essential right now and certainly into our future. Too much land across the country is being lost to so called ‘green schemes’ a quick fix which will cost us dearly in the years to come. We cannot and must not become more dependent on imports. It just doesn’t make sense with climate change to ship it in, when we can grow it ourselves and create more jobs, than the solar scheme ever would. The whole project is supposed to help with climate change, yet panels are made in China and shipped around the world. Why are they potentially using companies that have very poor employment and health and safety conditions and quality of build, when they could be made in the UK by our workers. What about the carbon implications of importing and decommissioning. I also feel the quality from Chinese imports are inclined to fail more quickly. Battery storage of energy has proven to be unpredictable and dangerous in many instances across the media with them combusting causing explosions, long burning fires that cannot be extinguished, leading to dangerous toxins being released into the environment potentially causing major health issues to humans and wildlife. It would also cause danger to life to adjoining properties if extensive crop fires were to take hold. My house is surrounded on three sides by these large unstable battery storage units. These are not necessary and should never be put anywhere near our residential areas, which include schools. I am seriously concerned that leaking panels could leach dangerous chemicals into our water courses and am unconvinced to say the least that the service and management of the panels would be sufficient to detect this early enough. What if the panels are struck by lightening, over such a large area the chances are greatly increased. Huge disruption and delays during construction meaning increased traffic, road closures, temporary traffic lights, through the villages on narrow roads with tight bends not suitable for HGV’s who will use both sides of carriageway in places, in already dangerous places in a small village without traffic calming measures or crossings. Many of the lanes/roads are already in poor condition, with deep collapsed edges, which are unsafe for cars to be pushed into. Any development would require commitment to make good the roads. The roads can not take this amount of construction traffic. I will suffer from the visual impact of the scheme and restricted access to green areas and footpath closures. The area will change in an extremely dramatic way from rural farming to living in an industrial facility with no escape. This would effect my mental wellbeing feeling trapped amongst prison fencing and seas of panels. I have great concerns regarding the health of both my Husband and myself both [Redacted]. We chose to live in rural location for our health and this would become an almost all surrounding industrial area. Construction and potential dangers from toxins during fires would affect us severely. This would also effect property sale, if we were forced to move. There will be major noise pollution during such huge construction and piling and then from batteries and inverters humming. We currently have diverse wildlife and its enjoyment and conservation are very important to me. Any development of this type and size will have huge detrimental and devastating effect on both our flora and fauna and the chalk streams if polluted, that run through the site. We need to become more independent of importing food not less. We can survive with less energy but not less food. In a turbulent world suffering from both man made and natural disasters, we need to plan for the future, not just quick fixes that kick the can down the road for future generations to struggle with. The decisions we make over the next few years could make or break us. This is not a profit making, box ticking exercise, it’s our futures. I support renewables in the UK but feel there are better alternatives that do not threaten our futures so detrimentally. I wish to be kept up to date and informed at all stages."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tony Paxman
"(1]The loss of the proposed amount of top-quality growing land in England's "Bread-basket" cannot be justified. (2) The importation of over a million Solar Panels and storage batteries from China is also hard to understand. Any fire in these storage batteries would produce toxic fumes. (3) The proposed "Sunnica" scheme does not appear to offer any significant local employment benefit and would be built by Smith Bros. of Yorkshire who apparently have never previously undertaken a scheme of the size currently put forward before. (4)Since "Brexit" the U.K. should be keeping closer controls of any and all new energy schemes. (5)This "Sunnica" scheme will add more carbon over its lifetime than it can ever save."
Parish Councils
West Row Parish Council
"West Row Parish Council, on behalf of the residents of West Row, has severe concerns around the following aspects of the proposed scheme: - Visual impact on landscape - the site is enormous and would forever change the landscape of the area. The proposed mitigation (i.e. hedges) is very poorly thought-through and completely insufficient. Over 30 miles of security fencing will make the area feel like a warzone. - Construction damage - our rural roads are not designed to support the traffic required to build this scheme which includes laying over 100 acres of concrete. Roads and verges will be damaged, and the local community will have to suffer and pay the costs of repairs. Most rural roads lack pavements or cut verges and the increased traffic will be dangerous to other roads users, especially those not in vehicles (i.e. on foot, bicycle or horseback). - End of Scheme - we fear that after 40 years the scheme will either continue, or more likely, the company will be quickly wound up and the panels left in situ, for others to have to pay the enormous costs of disposing of the panels and returning the land to its current state, or it could be simply left as a toxic wasteland. It is also likely that the panels would need to be changed at least once during the life of the scheme, creating further traffic and pollution issues. - Carbon Emissions - there is no evidence that this scheme will even be carbon-neutral. The only possible justification for the scheme is on this basis, which must be proved and take account of advancing technology expecting during the life of the scheme. - Public Rights of Way - the scheme wants to close public rights of ways for years of construction, and does not include sufficient replacements. This is completely unacceptable. - Battery Sites - these would be massive industrial compounds in an otherwise rural landscape. Planning permission would never be granted for such development in normal circumstances and must not be granted now either. There are huge concerns over what happens if - or more likely when - one of these battery storage compounds catches fire. They cannot be extinguished and can only be left to burn out - emitting poisonous gases that will harm the health of residents for miles around, not to mention the wider environmental impact."
Members of the Public/Businesses
William O’Dwyer
"Greenbt Land should not be used for something like this. There is plenty of barren land on the area that would be more suitable, The project is too close to the local schools and villages and there us no evacuation plans in place should there be a batterie fire. There was no proper consultation process carried out during the covid restrictions The infrastructure can’t take a project this size"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alan Wright
"I am objecting to the application. [Redacted], I rely on peaceful walks in the countryside around the village for my physical and mental wellbeing. The initial building process would disturb the calm that I need. The scale of the operation would deter me from health-giving activities. I live in dread of this application being passed."
Non-Statutory Organisations
Burwell Parish Council Climate Forum
"Management of land beneath and around Sunnica solar PV arrays during operational phase We have concerns about site management once the construction phase is over and the operational phase begins. Habitat for pollinators is declining globally, threatening the health of both wild and agricultural ecosystems. The Sunnica project provides a wonderful opportunity to create a huge area of grassland, managed for the benefit of wildflowers, wildlife and pollinators. Disappointingly, this has not been included in the application. We can nothing on this topic in The Environmental Statement (Vol 6, 6.1 Chapter 8, Ecology and Nature Conservation). The document explains how hedges, woodland, offsetting areas and grassland areas within the sites are to be managed sensitively with regard to biodiversity and other environmental concerns, but it does not deal with the land beneath the actual PV arrays. This is a serious omission, as the PV solar arrays will cover approximately 80% of the total area. Whilst welcome, the designated wildflower zones included in the application are insufficient. The application should be revised to specify the creation and maintenance of wildflower-rich grassland below the PV arrays, including details of the proposed mowing regime,which eradicate or suppress wildflowers. This is a unique opportunity to create hundreds of acres of biodiverse, pollinator-friendly habitat. When seeking planning consent, it is easy for developers to talk about natural methods of grass and weed control. Unfortunately, in reality, operators often rely on herbicides and/or regular mowing. For that reason, consent, if given, should include financial penalties for non- compliance."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Gibson
"The proposal for this ginormous solar park which will blight the landscape and environment for thousands of people and swathes of wildlife, without any contribution to reducing our carbon emissions in its lifetime, is a commercial scam with few winners. Heralded as "green", just because it is solar, actually "greenwash" in reality, the proposal is dangerous, top down and works against local peoples desire to make a difference environmentally through smaller scale realistic energy solutions such as solar power on their rooves and air source heat pumps in their homes. Taking this agricultural land out of production when energy prices (affecting imported food) are soaring without actually meaningfully contributing to national renewable energy targets is scandalous."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Gurnham
"I am deeply concerned about the environmental impact of this scheme. It would occupy thousands of acres of productive agricultural land, creating a habitat desert at a time when we should be preserving our habitat for native birds, insects, amphibians, small mammals and native species. The concrete itself is a huge area, never mind the scale of the solar. It is also adjacent to watercourses, homes, schools and will have a hugely detrimental impact to the natural environment in our area. The Burwell fen is an open landscape which has been used and enjoyed by the villagers for centuries. The battery storage and cabling infrastructure is of huge concern; its proximity to our home and village with the known risk of fire and noxious pollution is deeply alarming. What provision could there be for mitigation, given it is known that fires in BESS cannot be extinguished? The substation, in our village, at 12m high would dominate what is otherwise a low level, flat, agricultural fenland landscape of wonderful beauty. The nature of the area is such that, if there were to be a fire, the toxic smoke would spread far and wide very quickly, impacting homes and families. How could this possibly be considered a safe, suitable location for such a facility? Where there is already a small battery storage area, residents report constant noise and buzzing, persistent noise is known to be highly impactful to stress and health. The environmental credentials of this scheme are highly questionable, given the huge carbon footprint from importing the vast quantities of solar panels. This, coupled with the loss of agricultural land, must call this "environmentally beneficial" premise a nonsense. It detracts from, not contributes to, net Carbon Zero, and cannot be considered to be anything but contrary to achieving Net Zero. These are small villages, with minor infrastructure provisions. The impact of thousands of traffic movements, large machinery, degraded local landscapes, substantially increased fire risks and pollution, plus substantially decreased productive agricultural land all without the "benefit" of substantive local employment bringing wealth and prosperity to the area is a failure to appreciate the scale of the negative impact. There appears to be no understanding of the local area and the impact of such a scheme on it. This is a largely agricultural area, with small villages on the edge of the Fens where local people live, work, rest and take leisure in healthy, outdoor landscapes, also supporting native wildlife. Taking this land and surrounding these villages and homes with a solar desert would be devastating."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chrissie Sadler
"Health and safety of the battery storage system"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christopher Sadler
"I am concerned about the health implications to myself and the community. The safety of the batteries used. The damage to the farming community and to the landscape."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dan Mules
"This project is a violation of local wildlife and although there may be benefits, the scale of the project is a concern to all local residents , I thoroughly object ."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Karen Burgess
"I wish to object to the above application on numerous grounds , these include but are not restricted to ; The size and scale of the project The risk of storing batteries for the site The loss of farmland which is productive Effects on the natural wildlife on and around the site The traffic and disruption during construction on some already inadequate roads The possible effects on buried archaeology,much has been discovered in this area Inadequate consultation to date Loss of land walkers have access to"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nicola Espley
"I have serious concerns regarding the safety of the battery storage facilities, as far as i know there has been no plan put in place for if these catch fire, causing a huge risk to local residents. The size of the scheme is huge, taking up arable land that currently provides food. The amount and size of vehicles using the small, narrow country roads to put in this scheme will put residents at risk."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nigel Cooper
"Inadequacy of the biodiversity surveys Inadequacy of the on-site and off-site protections for key biodiversity Inadequacy of the biodiversity offsetting and on-site enhancements Incorrect categorisation of farmland under the Agricultural Land Classification Inadequate assessment of the impact of the development on the nation's food security"
Members of the Public/Businesses
William Frost
"This scheme is wrong on many counts, including but not limited to the following. It is too big and will swamp the area, changing the very nature of the locality from village and mixed farming to an extensive industrial generation plant. Every acre of farmland taken from food production results in increased imports as we are not self-sufficient. This reduces the headline green credentials of the scheme. This is only one example of collateral damage that can come from such a scheme. Calculations including the whole system of interactions is needed to genuinely evaluate whether there is not a better way to achieve the ends by better means. Too big. Not fully thought through. Pure commerce for profit, not a considered good option to help towards the reduction in fossil fuel reliance."
Members of the Public/Businesses
George G Rusk
"I am objecting to the Sunnica Solar Farm for the following reasons: 1. Sunnica Solar farm will take up 2800 acres of good quality irrigated vegetable growing farmland which must not be lost. We are only 64% self-sufficient in food. Importing more food equals greater carbon footprint, increased prices and reduction in food quality / security. 2. Photomontages show that it will be approximately 15 years to show full screening. So with construction time and Green growth it will be at least 12 years we will have to endure the blight on our countryside. 3. Local footpaths, bridleways, cycling routes etc will be closed during construction and some lost. 4. Sunnica predict that there will be minor adverse Ecological impact on wildlife and plant habits and species as a result of construction, operation and decommissioning. But the wildlife, flora and countryside will be lost for at least two generations. 5. Climate Change / much higher temperatures in the East of England may well be advantageous to solar panels. Universally it is stated that the Earth’s temperature is to continue to rise to unprecedented levels. Will the heat generated on the panels cause very turbulent air distribution over a wide area of the countryside? 6. Large battery storage systems present well known fire hazards not easily put out; explosive potential and toxic gas emissions as documented elsewhere in the world. On page 32 of Sunnica’s Consultation Document, “The solar panels and batteries would be recycled at this stage”. Decommissioning: How? Where? In the UK or are Sunnica expecting to source this out in the future to some other country, as has happened with the break-up of Shipping on the African continent? 7. Will the project be Carbon Neutral? Do we know the life cycle of the components which are intend to be used? Will there an EPD Environmental Product Declaration? Are figures relating to the Environmental impact expressed as a carbon Dioxide equivalent for the construction and installation of the project? 8. Are Sunnica abdicating their responsibility for the site over 40 years. Why is the daily responsibility of the maintenance and operation being passed on by Sunnica to a designated management company? 9. The huge BESS allow Sunnica to buy cheap electricity out of the Grid, store it and sell it back to the grid when it is expensive; creating huge profits for Sunnica’s Spanish owners. 10. Surely if all future buildings, houses, offices, public / government buildings had roof areas of solar panels the land and environment would not be sacrificed. 11. Land is being squeezed enough with the drive for new houses in the area. We do not want to live looking out onto large areas of Houses and Solar panels. We came here to live in the countryside. I ask you to consider carefully the above points and whether it is reasonable to have this enormous proposed site in one place."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Phyllis Rusk
"I am objecting to the Sunnica Solar Farm for the following reasons: 1. Sunnica Solar farm will take up 2800 acres of good quality irrigated vegetable growing farmland which must not be lost. We are only 64% self-sufficient in food. Importing more food equals greater carbon footprint, increased prices and reduction in food quality / security. 2. Photomontages show that it will be approximately 15 years to show full screening. So with construction time and Green growth it will be at least 12 years we will have to endure the blight on our countryside. 3. Local footpaths, bridleways, cycling routes etc will be closed during construction and some lost. 4. Sunnica predict that there will be minor adverse Ecological impact on wildlife and plant habits and species as a result of construction, operation and decommissioning. But the wildlife, flora and countryside will be lost for at least two generations. 5. Climate Change / much higher temperatures in the East of England may well be advantageous to solar panels. Universally it is stated that the Earth’s temperature is to continue to rise to unprecedented levels. Will the heat generated on the panels cause very turbulent air distribution over a wide area of the countryside? 6. Large battery storage systems present well known fire hazards not easily put out; explosive potential and toxic gas emissions as documented elsewhere in the world. On page 32 of Sunnica’s Consultation Document, “The solar panels and batteries would be recycled at this stage”. Decommissioning: How? Where? In the UK or are Sunnica expecting to source this out in the future to some other country, as has happened with the break-up of Shipping on the African continent? 7. Will the project be Carbon Neutral? Do we know the life cycle of the components which are intend to be used? Will there an EPD Environmental Product Declaration? Are figures relating to the Environmental impact expressed as a carbon Dioxide equivalent for the construction and installation of the project? 8. Are Sunnica abdicating their responsibility for the site over 40 years. Why is the daily responsibility of the maintenance and operation being passed on by Sunnica to a designated management company? 9. The huge BESS allow Sunnica to buy cheap electricity out of the Grid, store it and sell it back to the grid when it is expensive; creating huge profits for Sunnica’s Spanish owners. 10. Surely if all future buildings, houses, offices, public / government buildings had roof areas of solar panels the land and environment would not be sacrificed. 11. Land is being squeezed enough with the drive for new houses in the area. We do not want to live looking out onto large areas of Houses and Solar panels. We came here to live in the countryside. I ask you to consider carefully the above points and whether it is reasonable to have this enormous proposed site in one place."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jonathan Pearce
"I am objecting to the application on the following basis: - The size and scale of the development - The loss of much needed productive farmland and the effect on food security - The effects on wildlife, in particular protected species habituating the land - The lack of community benefit and loss of amenity - Significant health risks posed by the BESS (battery storage) to the local population when they catch fire - evidence of such battery fires is widespread. - The lack of experience the developer has with building and managing BESS and on such a significant scale. - The effect on historic landscapes and effect on buried archaeology - The industrialisation of the countryside and visual impact on the appearance - 30 miles of fencing, 100 acres of concrete, double storey BESS compounds. - The inefficiencies inherent in such a scheme - The potential increase in consumer energy prices from the tactical use of BESS to exact the highest prices for energy in order to maximise return for its investors. - The health effects and sound disturbance from the size of the construction - Inadequate consultation process - The lack of credible evidence that this scheme will deliver net environmental gains - it will create more carbon in its lifetime than it ever saves. - The importation of over 1M solar panels, likely from China and made by oppressed people. - The opportunistic nature of the scheme which lacks any sort of strategy and is fundamentally just about making huge profits for a handful. - The abject oversight to the objection of the plans from 99% of the local population"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Matthew Hedley
"I wish to discuss the Long term impact studies that have been completed. I also wish to discuss how much carbon will be produced during construction and when this project will begin to be carbon negative."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Patrick Cross
"Environmentally unfriendly project covering over 2500 acres of greenfield land affecting flora and Fauna which provides habitat for 100's of species. Loss of good quality agricultural land. Over 1000000 solar panels, made overseas and imported into the UK. 30 Miles of secure fencing, harmful to wildlife. High substation extension is in an area where the infrastructure cannot support the movement of large scale mechanised build equipment. This proposal needs to present fact of reduction in Carbon Emissions over if full life span and not just the short term benefit. Exist solar farms in this area are ugly, demoralising for the population and no local benifit."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Samantha Spillane
"I want good solar, not bad solar 1 - Your scheme is extensive most likely imported from china, 2. Extensive fencing will keep wildlife from roaming free and trapping certain breeds who are able to roam over large areas finding food - deer etc 3. No guarantee that this land will be returned to agricultural use and if so will it be contaminated 4. These panels cause fires, such an extensive scheme the higher the risk. The chemicals emitted when on fire will harm humans and wildlife. 5. East Anglia is a major source of food for the country - potatoes, celery and such like. Take this away from farmers who have farmed the land is a terrible idea, importing such foods from abroad is no an option. I live on the outskirts of the proposed plan and have done all my life. I want to see nature, wildlife and breath in fresh uncontaminated air. My two daughters want to stay in the village and raise their children to have an idealic life like they did growing up. This scheme is not wanted near our village. We live in the fens due to wanting nature to flourish, green spaces to walk in and the space to grow . This will not be the case if sunnica gets the go ahead"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sandra Judkins
"A ticking time bomb on a vast scale Very close to residents,homes,schools Land which can be used for food chain making us more self sufficient Why are solar panels not used on every new build,very few are Recently many vehicles have caught fire including a ship load Need specialised equipment to control fires If this huge site is so close to people what would happen if a there was a massive explosion If this happened I hope we don’t hear the usual words We will learn from our mistakes"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tim Wood
"• This project is about money, rather than a 'green' project, Sunnica's get rich scheme • Covering acres and acres of fertile arable land with outdated solar panels is wrong • This beautiful landscape will be ruined for decades to come"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Adam
"I am objecting to the application due to multiple factors. Environmental Concerns There are multiple environmental concerns with this application: - The planned panels and battery storage intended to be used appear to be the cheapest options from China and abroad. The carbon footprint of this will far outweigh any positive environmental impact of solar panels. - The size and scale of the application will destroy an extremely large area of habit for wild animals, with the erection of 10's of miles of fences restricting movement of larger animals. - The lose of much needed farm land in a very productive area. The soil in the area is very fertile and the area provides a significant portion of food for the country. Personal Concerns On top of the environmental concerns I also have personal concerns and factors which impact me directly: - I live on the outskirts of one of the impacted villages and my view will be impacted, switching from fields and hedgerows, to chain link fences and shipping containers full of batteries. - Travel in and out of the village, currently along country roads, will be replaced by mile upon mile of chain link fences and industrial looking panels. - Property values will likely significantly decrease"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Callum Orford
"I object because of: 1. Loss of countryside, look industrial, effect on wildlife habitat. Industrialisation is not good for mine and other people's mental health. I enjoy the countryside and an concerned that the scale of this will have in local wildlife. 2. What about farming land lost, it is not green if we have to import all our produce. The farmers and rural employment lost. 3. Are the solar panels and lithium going to be sourced from ethical manufacturers? Also the carbon footprint of this manufacturing must be taken into account. 4. How is the decommissioning going to happen, will this be green? How many years will it take for the land to recover? 5. I am a young man and distraught at what the older generation are doing to our planet and thinking this is green energy. It will be my generation that have to deal with this mess in the future, solar panels could be out in new builds, factories, middle of motorways, other countries are looking to alternative energy and moving away from solar."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Claire Mills
"My parents and my sister’s family moved to Worlington and Red Lodge respectively in the last six years and were assured by their solicitors that the area surrounding their houses was designated as countryside. There was no possibility of the land being used for housing or commercial development. Therefore my immediate family is directly affected by the Sunnica proposal. My parents,[Redacted] , are finding the stress and anxiety unbearable in relation to this behemoth proposal and planned destruction of the beautiful countryside surrounding their property and the local environment in favour of millions of solar panels and worse, battery storage facilities. This has already had a detrimental impact on their health and wellbeing. Furthermore, in 2021 my parents needed to downsize due to my mother’s [Redacted] and found it impossible to sell their house. Their agent confirmed in writing that willing purchasers were unable to proceed due to the planned Sunnica development and the consequent possible decrease in property values. I am also very concerned about the safety risk to my family posed by the battery storage facilities which are in close proximity to both houses on the proposed plans. I therefore object to the Sunnica proposal; on the grounds of the scale of the project with 2,800 acres of food producing farmland being lost and becoming an industrial complex consisting of approx 1.1 million solar panels and associated facilities, and 3 large sites with a total of 75 acres of battery energy storage cabins. These pose dangers to human health with risks of fire, explosion and toxic plume. I wish to inform the planning inspectors by Written Representation of a number of items within the Development Consent Order that I propose to comment on in detail, with supporting evidence. The following is a list of those Apps within the DCO. • The risks to human health from battery fires – these have been proven unsafe both internationally and in the UK • The proximity of the planned development to residential areas - the recommendation for battery installations is within a 10 mile radius of residential properties. • Local fire services - the ability of the two local fire services to cope with a catastrophe relating to battery fires. • Quality farmland – lack of information on alternative sites investigated and concerns that good class food producing farmland has been chosen instead of alternatives. • Decommissioning – lack of national guidelines. Who will be responsible for maintenance of the 40-year leases and returning the 2,800 acres back to farmland and what are the anticipated costs? Sunnica have said publicly they will on-sell the DCO planning consent. • The Brecklands landscape being of historic importance, where most of the proposed development is to be situated, and the consequential loss of habitat for many protected wildlife and birds. • Solar technology efficiency - the Inspectors for Cleve Hill Solar Farm confirmed that the maximum efficiency is at 5km from the solar farm but the grid cable connection at Burwell is 15km from the solar farm."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Cllr Brian Peter Harvey
"As the local District Councillor representing the Residents of Manor Ward which includes both Worlington & Freckenham Parishes and also as a resident of Worlington. My concerns are :- 1. Scale and dominance of the proposed Solar Energy Farm - approximately 2500 acres, the communicative impact this proposed scheme will have upon not only Residents but on Local Businesses ie Racing Studs, Anaerobic Digester Plant, Gravel Quarry and Pig farming. 2. Inadequate details and proposals submitted - The Energey farm is planned for a 500MW scheme, but the 4 sites are rated at 50MW Solar plus Energey storage but no actual size of battery units has been provided. This scheme currently would have the capacity to store 200MW no details have been provided as to where the additional 300MW will be sighted.And the corresponding impact that these large battery units will have on the surrounding area. 3. Under the Rochdale parameters the final responsibility and specification for the Battery storage units is transferred to relevant SCC & CCC Fire & Rescue Departments. There are NO details of any Government specifications or Fire regulations currently enforced. The impact upon Local residents due to a fire and the release of Toxic fumes is a very high risk, full details and a risk assessment is required. 4. Highways Issues - The overall communicative impact this scheme will have on the local rural road network will be immense . No Traffic Management or current traffic flow analysis plan has been submitted, No impact assessment has been made as to how they propose to store in excess of 320K ltrs of fuel on site during the construction phases and the prevention of environmental spillage and subsequent soil contamination, together with details for workforce vehicle parking and access to site. 5. Landscaping & screening - View points have been declared but no indication has been given as to how they propose to mitigate the road crossing junctions and visibility splays 60mph "C" Class roads rated at 60mph in local areas. Use of country lanes as access to and from site ie: Golf Links Rd & Elms Rd. In summary I am not opposed to the Green Energey agenda but this scheme will have a considerable impact upon the Rural environment and the potential impact of a thermal runaway battery fire would be immense. As such I cannot support this proposed scheme in its current format."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hannah Patten
"I think this is amazing that we have finally started to think about our planet . Although I feel that there isn't enough information put out there for people to understand what solor farming means for our future. Is there any information guides out there that can be distributed to the public . Unfortunately people like to live in their bubbles and don't like change, but possibly if there was more understanding of this i feel it would definitely change a few minds that are against the solor farm . I'm willing to help this cause as it is the best solution we have had in decades to help our planet . More information is need I belivie . Please don't give up"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jennifer Hall
"The size and scale of this project 20 smaller solar sites within 20 mile radius of proposed scheme 2500 acres of productive farmland lost when UK is only 64% self-sufficient in food production Concerns about restoration of site to farmland and removal and recycling of materials at end of 40 years (1,000,000 solar panels) Safety concerns about BESS battery storage system: size of storage units, proximity to local communities with expanding populations, major roads and railway line, impact on health and transport links if batteries combust and emit toxic fumes, company's lack of experience with system of proposed size Impact on local environment: visual impact, landscaping (hedges and trees) will take half the scheme's lifespan to screen solar panels, loss of amenity landscape value to local residents Impact on wildlife: loss of habitat and biodiversity as site is enclosed by 30 miles of fencing, impact on migrating birds and insects travelling to National Nature Reserves (Wicken Fen and Chippenham Fen)over such a large area of solar panels Impact on local homeowners if project is approved: devalued house prices, possible increase in home insurance due to proximity of potentially hazardous battery system Congestion on minor local roads during construction of site, with HGV movements throughout the day and night impacting on local residents' travel"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jill Collins
"My concerns about the Sunnica project are: 1) The size of the project and how much good agricultural land will be lost. Since leaving the EU it is even more important that we are as self sufficient as we can be. 2) The safety records for the batteries is very worrying 3) There will be no benefit to the local population with regards to employment during or after construction 4) The plans don't include an exit plan for the disposal of the batteries, equipment etc when the project is finished 5) The land may never be suitable for agricultural use ever again 6) During construction there will be an impact on the local roads with the lorries and construction traffic"
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Robert Savage
"Solar Farms should not be situated on prime agricultural land. Large scale Lithium Battery storage should not be situated anywhere near residential properties. There are frequent reports of Lithium Batteries catching fire, producing toxic gas and being left to burn out as they cannot be easily extinguished. Sunnica has failed to respond adequately to questions from local residents. Sunnica has failed to demonstrate that their scheme is truly GREEN. There are extensive brownfield sites that could be used without having an impact on England's Green and Pleasant Land. Why not (for instance) cover the Cambridge Park and Ride sites with solar panels? Why not insist that all new builds incorporate Solar generation in their design? It is believed that the solar panels will be imported from China - Hardly GREEN! This proposed Solar Farm will have a significant adverse impact on a number of wildlife species. If large scale Solar Farms are permitted on good agricultural land the UK will have to import more food at significant cost in carbon emissions. A Solar Farm on this scale will change Rural Landscape into an Industrial Site. Laying miles of cabling will cause significant disruption and additional carbon output due to significant delays and diversions for local traffic."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Tapster
"I live on Riverside Isleham Marina on the river Lark downstream of the proposed Sunnica East Site development. Obviously, our lodges and boats are extremely sensitive the level of the river Lark. The level of the Lark will be impacted by the increased rain water run-off due to the reduction in water absorption, as no crops will be grown, and the reduction in large scale water extraction for irrigation by Waters Potatoes Ltd and others. The increased speed of run-off will give lodge and boat owners less, or no, time to prepare for these increased river levels."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Margaret Thompson
"I object to the Sunnica planning application to put solar panels onto prime agricultural land. In this country we are only 60 to 70% self surficient in food and import the rest which is not good for the environment. Also what will happen to the wildlife that helps the environment. I am not against sustainable energy, there is plenty of land that isn't suitable for growing food, or even the banks along motorways or railway lines. As there has been no face to face consultations with Sunnica people haven't been able to ask questions such as what will the land be like after the end of life for the panels. Or what are the health risks from the batteries, which are going to be close to residential properties, what happens if there is a fire. So many unanswered questions"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Norman Ferguson
"I am objecting to this proposed Solar Farm installation mainly due to the location and sheer scale of it. Solar is supposed to be a benefit to our environment and society. How is using 2,500 acres of prime agricultural land for a monster solar farm a green choice ? We are currently only 64% self sufficient for food, so no sense in wasting this land for an installation of glass & concrete with no guarantee that it can return to agriculture land after 40 years. Panels imported from China & not even local companies used. Sunnica do not have the experience of building anything on this scale, it will be the largest BESS in the world. The actual installation will cause havoc on the local roads which are already over populated with vehicles, causing road damage that the authorities already can't keep on top of, traffic congestion, road closures with large diversions, Dust and dirt from the fields covering the roads, vehicles & housing and devastation to the local environment & habitat. This installation will also be counter productive to our pursuit of Carbon Zero by 2050."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Russell Milne
"I am objecting to this application, for these reasons: a. this development will cover approx 2,500 acres of greenfield land, which is good quality arable farmland, which will no longer be available for food production b. this land is inhabited by a great variety of flora and fauna, enjoyed by local people including myself, including rare species such as the stone curlew, all of which will be lost or displaced by the development c. there is no guarantee the land can be returned to agricultural use after the project ends, in 40-odd years time d. this land will be classified as brownfield land and open to commercial and/or residential development e. there is no prospect of long term local employment therefore no local benefit for people and businesses f. it has been shown that this scheme will create more carbon in its lifetime than it ever saves. Solar panels will be imported, so it cannot ever be deemed 'green' and does not help meeting this country's Carbon Zero commitment by 2050 g. I am concerned that Sunnica does not have the necessary knowledge and experience of building and managing a development of this scale h. the battery energy storage compounds will cover 77 acres in total, close to residential properties, making it one of, if not, the largest in the world. What experience does Sunnica have of building and managing these batteries i. evidence shows the Li-ion batteries do catch fire, emitting poisonous gases and are difficult if not impossible to extinguish quickly. These batteries will be sited near houses j. I understand these huge battery compounds will also be used to buy cheap electricity out of the grid, store it and sell it back when it is expensive. This is surely not what solar farms are meant to do - Sunnica are exploiting the local area and desecrating greenfield arable land purely for corporate profits."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Timothy James Lawson
"I am most interested in ensuring the:- 1. Protection & safety of all those using the very major and A.11 trunk road towards Norwich, which carries huge numbers of VERY fast moving vehicles, especially at its junction with the Newmarket Road leading on to Barton Mills with an early left turn into Golf Links Road towards Worlington. 2. Environmental damage at/on the north facing land fronting onto Golf Links Road - Worlington is minimised if this scheme is considered for approval. 3. Use of Golf Links Road - Worlington is absolutely NOT ALLOWED AT ALL during the Construction 'phase or the Decommissioning phase by huge HGV vehicles and is limited to very limited use by a small number of cars & very small vehicles in the operational phases. I reserve the right to raise any other matters that are relevant as matters progress towards a decision in this matter."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Joanne Elmer
"I am strongly opposed to this application for several reasons. The loss of agricultural land which could never be returned to its natural state. Disruption to wildlife. No provision for the disposal of batteries. What happens if batteries catch fire, a huge area would be affected by smoke / who knows what damage that would do tours. Devaluation of properties in the area. Increase in heavy traffic through small country roads whilst being built. Sunnica refusal to attend community meetings and engage with the public queries."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Newstead
"I would disagree to this application on the following grounds To much disparate development that is complex to link To much development near to urban areas To much development on locally productive farm land Not a green development that will be beneficial to the local community Damaging to local vistas and not suitable for the areas depicted. Long periods of disruption around major arterial routes to Cambridge and Newmarket Lots of concreteing over of green agricutural land that will never come back in reality - this land needs protecting from development"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julie Thornalley
"The sunnica proposal will mean an enormous loss of usable agricultural land. The affected villages are unsuitable for the scale of heavy goods traffic. The loss of wildlife habitat and corridors is unacceptable. The safety and number of the battery stores is untested and unprecedented. The fire hazard of them is an experiment with the lives of all the local residents. The location is too close to where people live. There are no plans for the de-commisioning the site when the technology becomes obsolete."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Bullions
"I am opposed to the Sunnica application because it is a poor use of valuable farmland, is a project too vast and of detrimental impact to the local communities that have been in the area for hundreds of years. The technology of the battery is dangerous and as yet unproven at such a size as this scheme proposes."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Robert Neil Brown
"no fire service to cope if problem use of good farm land after fourty years possible to build more houses must be brown land better suited"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sam Lee-Mccloud
"Failure of the consultation for our village as we were added late so we were not adequately consulted. Lack of in-person consultation. Their refusal to attend public meetings in our village. The refusal to answer our questions posted in the zoom meetings. The constantly changing live boundaries during consultation period. The loss of prime farmland with such a huge scale in an area where 37%of our fruit abs veg are grown. Damage to the chalk aquifer where our water comes from stating that a moderate risk is acceptable but won’t define moderate. Damage to wildlife and loss of rare species totally inadequate mitigation measures. Batteries placed too close to homes abs schools. It is 11 times bigger than any other working scheme in uk and built around our villages so will cause risk of life. Area has many asthmatic people who will be greatly affected by the 1682 staff vehicles and 202hgv movements a day 6 days a week on narrow country lanes. Building if 300 battery containers with poor safety record near our homes. The loss of farmland will result in job losses and it will not be suitable to return to farmland at the end of the scheme so our village life will be lost forever and become industrial land. How will the solar panels etc be disposed of at the end of the scheme is it environmentally friendly? It will not benefit the locals as energy will be stored and sold abroad and will create job losses and loss and damage of countryside permanently"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Shirley Bullions
"I believe the sunnica proposal is totally wrong for this area of rich farmland. The local communities should not be put at risk by the unknown risks concerning battery storage. The scheme is too big and overwhelms the countryside of farming land. It is opportunistic in its worse sense and as stated by sunnica they will only maintain an interest for 3 to 4 years and then move on."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Angela Wells
"Not against solar energy,but to cover over 2 600 plus acres ,which is fertile arable land to feed our growing population dosn't make sense at all. Why oh why dosn't the government make law that every new build,commercial ,including super markets, industrial units etc etc,have solar panels. there has been no forward thinking,as I know heat fusion will be the next form of heat & energy. My friends son in law made all the robots for it in a small village in nr Oxford.You keep on about being GREEN,I can't see the logic in these HUGE UGLY batteries in the village near me. Nothing with A BATTERY is GREEN,even electric cars.!!! Also the damage that they can do to the atmosphere if they catch fire,Pollution. There is better ways,instead of disturbing habitat for wild life We have to have a balance & it has to be considered. All this for Greed & the love of money.I am [Redacted] and I know we have to have change,& science is a must.but we have to feed our people,NOT have to import,with air miles.when our growing land runs out.Perhaps we will soon have to take a pill.Enough said.!!.Have a nice day."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brian Barrow
"I consider that the development is too large and some of the sites proposed will have a significant impact on the Character of the area. The southern Sunnica sites are principally within the East Anglian Chalk National Character Area no 87 which stretches from Letchworth to just north of Newmarket. This means the large expanse of panels proposed particularly south east of Snailwell will impact on that area significantly. This is especially the case as the character area is narrow and is limited north of Newmarket. Of particular significance is to note the importance of the area of land between Newmarket, the Newmarket horse training grounds (The Limekilns etc) which are extensive and the historic parklands of Chippenham Park and Lodge and the protected Chippenham Fen a National Nature Reserve. Looking at the proposed solar locations it will be seen that nearly all of this landscape will be lost ie the Landscape character of the East Anglian Chalk, as it is so limited in this area. The summary of the character states that: This creates a visually simple and uninterrupted landscape of smooth, rolling chalkland hills with large regular fields enclosed by low hawthorn hedges, with few trees, straight roads and expansive views to the north. (REFERENCE NATIONAL ENGLAND WEB SITE) The landscape quite simply cant take the extent of coverage proposed as in effect the fundamental landscape character will be damaged. National Policy in the NPPF para 174 states the importance of protection of the landscape. This proposal isn't a couple of fields within a landscape that is extensive and can take it , it is effectively all of that landscape in this section of the countryside. The sites around Isleham fall right at the northern tip of the Chalk landscape with the open fields between Freckenham and Isleham being the last of the this landscape before it transitions into the fens. Again when the extent of the landscape type is so limited anything of scale will do significant damage. Overall the proposal is too big, it cannot be accommodated within the landscape without significant damage. Expansive views cannot be mitigated with tree planting as the character will be lost for ever."
Members of the Public/Businesses
C knight
"The loss of agricultural land"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Cheryl Caves
"As a resident of the local area I am concerned about the loss of prime agricultural land, the impact on local wildlife, the impact on local communities through both the construction and use of the site as well as concerns surrounding the safety of storage facilities and what happens to the land when the site is decommissioned. I do not believe that a site of this scale is required in this area, particularly when no efforts have been made to install solar panels on the numerous flat roofed commercial properties across the region."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Ellis
"This so called energy farm is not only taking good farmland out of production it is far too big. It will surround many villages and cause major disruption to wildlife and peoples lives."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Evelyn Graham
"Loss of food producing arable land . Much more important to produce food here without the carbon imprint of importing. Huge batteries which are not guaranteed safe. Banned in other countries. Years of disruption to local roads whilst installation is carried out. CPO orders on privately owned land already producing food. No plan for what happens to the installation in say 20 years time when it wears out or is replaced by more modern technology. Sunnica will have made their money and be gone.Sunnica could not be bothered to send a representative to a village meeting with local MPs present. They don't care about disruption to wild life, people's lives, closing footpaths or rights of way and the general damage to the arable land and landscape around the villages. How much pollution will there be from all the lorries and plant used to instal this huge site."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Graham Gordon
"My Objection to Sunnica - Loss of residential amenities, The noise from the existing (small) existing battery storage is already noticeable and a constant feature despite a distance of ~1,500m from the storage location to our property. I can only assume this will be worse during summer months as the cooling systems kick in. Disruption caused during construction. The traffic increase and constant noise from piledrivers was a constant feature during the first exploratory phase - The construction from this development is an estimated two-years. Destruction of the local environment and ambiance, as a resident, we elected to buy our properties here (vs a larger town or city)- we did not chose to live next to whatever the Sunnica project will morph into, specifically the connection to the Burwell substation and resulting noise. Risk There are currently no guidelines for the protection of BESS storage. The best way of cutting through the noise surrounding this is the fact that insurers (my area of work experience) are limiting exposure due to: - Limited public fire test data demonstrating fire behavior - Limited public fire test data related to large format batteries - Limited incident data on large-scale (grid size) - Methods of thermal runaway protection - Post-fire incident response and recovery procedures Financial Project Risk The ownership structure seems complex and opaque (for example one Sunnica JV party has already accepted, on the 23rd April, a fixed charge over all business assets from BEF – lending of almost last resort). It looks a mess. If it goes wrong who picks up the site(s) restoration etc? The ultimate potential owners Solaer SL are so far financially removed from the project. Would it not be more transparent if the group were managing this directly? The root cause of much of the issues around public consultation seems to be the resources (both financial and people) required to manage stakeholder relations. See SUNNICA ENERGY FARM INADEQUACY OF PUBLIC CONSULTATION. https://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Appendix4-RepresentationfromSNTSCommunityActionGroupAoCR28Nov21rev1.pdf Simply, if they can't resource to manage communication. How can they manage construction? Kind regards, Graham"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julie Smith
"I own a property in Worlington, a beautiful village in lovely countryside. My concern is the village will disappear into industry. The country views will be spoilt.Worlington is already at threat of being swallowed into development on the West Side of Mildenhall."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Paul Butcher
"As both a local resident but also a in citizen I am in favour of renewables. However looking at the proposal it is simply too big for what is already an area where non residential/ commercial land is becoming a premium. I would rather see renewables that are not as land hungry such as turbines. I also have to following points * we are all aware that this will become a brownfield site meaning it becomes ripe for development in the future. I would want to see a guarantee that it will be returned to its former agricultural greenfield status with no further development and that the owners have to provide a plan of how this will be done at the end of its life. * the scale needs to be reduced to consider the impact as it is going to join villages together in a mass development of structures and concrete. * the benefit to the uk is actually minimal. If the uk government were behind the plan and willing to fund it this would mean we would be creating a renewable future that is affordable but supporting a Spanish company to use imported equipment to develop this site means we have minimal control over the longer term costs to the consumer and even if this were subsidised in the future it still means we are indirectly paying for profits to leave the country. * I can see no evidence that the scheme will be carbon neutral. If anything this site will create more carbon than it saves in its lifetime * Despite all of the planning to make this low impact to the local environment erecting fencing around the whole site will increase its impact on local fauna. Planting trees and maintaining the grounds will have little impact and impede larger fauna."
Non-Statutory Organisations
Ramblers, Newmarket & District Group
"My role as Group Footpath Secretary for the Newmarket and District Group of the Ramblers Association, (Newmarket Ramblers), enables me to write on behalf of the Suffolk Area of the organisation. We recognise the need to reduce the use of fossil fuels and to develop alternative ways of meeting the ever increasing demand for electricity, but this should not be at the expense of the production of food, a policy which will lead to further reliance on imported produce. It has been cited that the land intended for this project is not of a particularly high grade, yet a tour of the general area in recent months, revealed that, as far as could be seen, all fields included in the scheme were in or prepared for crop. In recent years, the reputation of Newmarket as 'the home to horseracing' has resulted in an ongoing increase in the number of stud farms and private training facilities in the area. This has led to a significant reduction in the acreage in arable use and the wisdom of permitting the loss of further substantial areas, reported to be in excess of 2,600 acres, to accommodate an energy farm for an alleged period of forty years must be questioned At present, the farmed countryside is pleasing to the eye but, should the scheme be carried out, this will be exchanged for a fenced industrial landscape of solar panels, solar stations and battery storage facilities, alien to the locality and not a good legacy to leave to future generations. My Group has responsibility for monitoring rights of way matters, including planning applications, 'affecting a public right of way'. In addition to our West Suffolk parishes of Barton Mills, Freckenham and Worlington, my Group also has responsibility for matters in the East Cambridgeshire parishes of Chippenham, Kennett, Snailwell and Isleham, all of which feature in the scheme. I am also authorised to comment on the link through to the existing sub-station at Burwell. Whilst our main concern here, as ramblers, must be the welfare of the public rights of way network, there are very few such routes actually within the areas under consideration, so the importance of either preserving them or providing acceptable alternatives is paramount. Mention is made on the Landscape Master Plan of the 'Potential Provision of Permissive Routes, but what is really required are firm proposals for routes, to be adopted by the appropriate county council and added to the Definitive Map for each of the parishes concerned. The supposed life of the installation is a very long time and informal arrangements can be overlooked! This aspect will be revisited at the Written Representation stage, with suggestions that Sunnica will already be aware of, but have not chosen to give serious attention, (yet), as the blue squiggles on the plans included in the undated Sunnica update, (Summer 2020?), do not inspire confidence."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Amanda Manchett
"I am objecting to the application due to my concerns for Burwell and surrounding villages loosing valuable good quality farming land for over 20 years. The UK is only 64% self sufficient in food now. The Land Sunnica want is good quality irrigated farming land. This land also provides habitats for hundreds of species. I worry for the wildlife, the deer monk-jack hares and alike with natural wildlife runs shut off, they will be pushed to the roads to be killed and cause accidents. This scheme is not green, importing 1,000,000 solar panels and batteries from china leaves a huge carbon footprint. Will the scheme create more carbon in its lifetime than it ever saves ? I am concerned about the seventy seven acres of battery energy storage compounds close to homes, the Sunnica BESS would be the current largest in the world and I am to understand Sunnica LTD has no experience of building BESS on this scale? If the BESS catch fire can they be put out? I am concerned that Sunnica will buy cheap electricity out of the grid from renewable and non renewable sources, store it in their BESS and then sell it back to the grid when it is expensive, creating huge profits for Sunnica's Spanish owners. Their are other ways to generate Solar I am sure, but this application is flawed and also detrimental on a gargantuan level to the beautiful countryside surrounding our local villages, which will surely turn the outskirts all around industrial and grey?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Benoit Herinckx
"-monstrous development in its scale with huge tentacles choking several small villages -poor consultation and no democratic debate -attempt at deceiving the public about the true purpose of the project -little regard for impact on the environment and wildlife, or detrimental effect on small communities(enjoyment of the country life, loss of amenities, mental health..) -contempt for the concerns expressed by local people, whose lives will be blighted for generations to come -loss of agricultural land that will be turned into a semi-industrial area -threat to the racing industry in Racing Headquarters in Newmarket -very vague and disingenuous promises, unlikely to be kept, about mitigating measures and no guarantees about eventual decommissioning -significant risk associated with the siting of large batteries near villages"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ian Rees
"1) Losing 2,500 acres of green field and productive land and then being forced as a nation to import many tens of thousands of tons of food is completely wrong. 2) As a nation we should import energy (using many means) and not food! To lower our carbon footprint we need food to be local and energy to be produced where it has the smallest, or no, carbon footprint. 3) This is a truly vast scheme. The battery storage system is the biggest in the world which is an astonishing statistic for an over populated island. 4) Batteries on this scale are deeply damaging to the environment. I know this as the company I work for makes battery materials. Batteries are best used for small scale and mobile applications (eg 50-60 kW battery packs) 5) This development will create 2500 acres of brown field site which will be developed by the owners, giving them an eye watering profit. Land in this area is upwards of £1M per acre. That's £2.5BN pounds in today's money! 6)The solar cells will likely come from China which has an appalling human rights record. Secondly the PVs will be made using coal energy which utterly defeats the purpose of "green" energy. 7) I object to wealthy owners charging the batteries using dirty electricity and selling it back to the grid at peak times. 8) I object to a vast construction project with almost zero local employment. 9) Recent analysis from the University of Cambridge shows this project will create mire carbon dioxide than it saves! This is bad science leading bad policy and creating billions of profits for the (wealthy) owners"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jack Leitch
"I believe that a lot of the complaints against this project are unsupported as they are almost always without reference or citation to the studies they are quoting. I think as a community we need to seek out any and all green energy options, and even making small steps in this field is worthwhile. As such, I am fully in favour of the Sunnica energy farm."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jen Waterfield
"This is too large for the area and will be detrimental to villager life and the natural habitat and wildlife"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jenna Clark
"Too large Concerns regarding site traffic through red lodge Permanent loss of potential farm land Large batteries very close to primary schools which could be very dangerous if they catch fire - only 1500m from one primary school"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jillian Gamlin
"I am objecting to Sunnica's application on the following grounds: Burwell substation already has a number of battery storage units which are a fire risk and create a constant hum due to the fans in operation to cool the units. They were meant to be disguised by a bank and fence. This is insufficient to prevent noise and the units are unsightly. Further units would add to the intrusive background noise. More units close to housing in Burwell will increase the fire risk with potential risk from the emission of poisonous gases close to housing should they catch fire. Sunnica has no experience of building battery storage compounds on this scale which is of concern from the safety perspective. I object to good farmland being covered by solar panels. To reduce our carbon footprint more food should be grown in this country. Panels could be sighted on brownfield sites or on the roofs of existing buildings particularly large distribution depots. The infrastructure for the solar park will be imported from China. Manufacturing in China is questionable due to its employment practices and use of coal fired powered stations to produce energy. All these factors are linked to the scheme having a huge carbon footprint which will cancel out any green energy produced from the solar panels."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Shannon Elizabeth Manchett
"I am concerned this is not a Green scheme because over one thousand solar panels 2.5 m high will be imported along with batteries from China, will it create more carbon in its life time than it saves? I am concerned that if these battery storage compounds catch fire the poisonous gases will affect the homes close by. I am too understand that these type of battery energy storage compound fires can not be extinguished with water in the normal way and would be a danger to extremely close by homes farms and business's. I am concerned that this Spanish company will profit greatly when they resell their stored energy to our grid for us to buy back at inflated rates. I am concerned that the farming land surrounding our villages will be become grey and industrial overnight with this flawed gargantuan plan. I think this will affect the mental health of the people living in and around the villages of this scheme as we will have a changed outlook from nothing we have ever known."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Susan Chapman
"We live in Burwell on a rural farm with horse paddocks .Now we find a piece of our land is included in the link up to the sub station . We do not want the pipeline to go through our land and disturb the natural habitat of hundreds of wild birds and water voles etc that have lived here since we moved in [Redacted] and therefore are very much against the whole set up . It is very unfair that we have chosen to live in the country and own our land to do as we please , yet it seems now Sunnica can come along and try to compulsory take our land . We will do everything we can to stop this happening ."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tim Slater
"I am objecting to this application for a giant solar farm in our area. * The planned site will cover a 2,500 acre area encompassing the villages of Snailwel, Workington, Kenneth, Barton Mills, West Row, Isleham, Freckham, Chippenham and Fordham. * The land planned for this use is good quality irrigated farmland suitable for growing vegetables. * There is no meaningful local employment resulting from this scheme, only irreparable damage to the countryside, loss of habitat for wildlife with no guarantee that the land will be ale to be returned to agricultural use after 40 years due. To it being declared a brownfield site. The UK needs to be more self sufficient in food production and sites like this greatly damage our ability to be more productive. * The noise and disruption caused by the site construction will degrade the quality of life for local residents, with greatly increased traffic on small rural roads already under strain. * Li-ion BESS are known to catch fire, creating toxic gases are lethal, even in tiny amounts.Li-ion BESS fires are also very hard - nay almost impossible - to extinguish. * Sunnica’s Spanish owners will make huge profits by storing and then selling on electricity when the market is at it’s most expensive, surely not a very sensible option. When we can produce and store affordable electricity. * Sunnica’s solar panels are made in China, a country known to use slave labour in solar panel manufacturing. * The poor design will leave an enormous carbon footprint, creating more carbon in its lifetime than it will ever save. * Value of local property will be badly affected. *"
Members of the Public/Businesses
William Holt
"I am very concerned about the planned use of large battery banks in this project. Both the scale and the planned location of batteries is extremely dangerous to the local population. In the case of a fire, toxic fumes would likely blow into populated areas including those containing schools. I understand that safety measures will be in place but my understanding on battery fires are that they are very difficult to stop once started and a fire at a much smaller battery unit near Liverpool took at least 11 hours to bring under control. Details on the safety measures given by Sunnica. My second objection is the use of farm land for this purpose which I think is shortsighted compared to encouraging solar on houses which helps with cost of living including heating and electric car charging. This is even more important with the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, making cereals and gas more expensive. In this time we should be using our far land to grow crops and helping families reduce their reliance on fossil fuels for heating."
Members of the Public/Businesses
George Gibson
"Vast areas taken by solar farms are removing prime agricultural land from food production. The power predicted is during daylight, mostly at periods of low demand, and the battery back up is of short duration, using a potential explosive technology. The cost of the scheme is unfair to many low income families, and the rewards are to a few. I have requested information from Lucy Frazer, but she has to represent the wishes of her government, that appear in favour."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lina Boyd-Rochfort
"Loss of good farm land Footpaths adversely affected by construction of a Solar Farm Solar Farm too near to villages - possible danger with regard to fires. Already traffic on the road to Worlington is in excess, since Red Lodge has been built. The road will not be able to cope with construction traffic - The road past the golf course is totally unsuitable. Will adversely affect property prices and life in Worlington."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sally lewis
"Although I am not against solar power I am totally against the Sunnica project. It will destroy good agricultural land and because of the size I think it will totally destroy the area . Nobody feels safe with the batteries and we will all be living in fear of our lives.i cannot believe that this project is even got this far as. Sunnica obviously has not taken into account the damage they would be doing to peoples lives if this was to go ahead. I am 100% against it and I cannot believe that it is even considered."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Ganiford
"This application will have a substantial impact on the village where I live and surrounding countryside, which does not seem to be in proportion to the benefits of the scheme."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Albert Edward Mills
"1. does it have to be Solar power, 2. why is it so large, 3. Alternative WIND power 4. the effect on the countryside and wildlife, 5. Closure of a footpath that is in constant use by dog walkers and for exercise. 6.The amount of traffic on a country road not built for LARGE vehicles, 7. Vibrations causing damage to Property"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Birgitta Gaston on behalf of Betty Duncan
"I am objecting to the Sunica Energy farm on the grounds of: 1, Taking up valuable green field sites needed for agricultural use. 2, There will be no local benefits as it is being built by Smith Brothers Ltd (Yorkshire) 3, The fact that 77 acres of battery storage will be situated extremely close to homes and several schools. 4, The cables, while being laid, will cause huge disruptions to local roads which are already congested enough and will make life extremely difficult for residents in the local villages. 5, The Sunica BESS would be huge and Sunica has no experience of building on this scale. 6, Should it catch fire it would spell disaster for local people in the area. 7, Who is maintaining the plant and how will it be done? 8, The largest battery storage is in Red Lodge very close to houses, schools, doctor's surgery, community centres etc. 9, How will they dispose of lithium batteries and panels when they have reached the end of their lives and are no longer working?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Birgitta Gaston
"This huge project will be built on valuable agricultural land which will be needed especially now when we have left the EU. I have lived here a very long time and do not want to have a gigantic solar farm with all the dangers of the battery storage etc so close to houses and schools. We are a growing community and I know this will be detrimental to all of us living around this area. Who will be responsible for the disposal of the panels when they become rusty, old, outdated and no longer efficient? While this is being built there will be roadworks which will affect transport. We have enough traffic congestions at the moment. What about the wildlife around here? There is plenty and that will all be affected. There was never a proper consultation when questions could be asked and answered by Sunica. These kind of plants should be situated on brown field sites of which there must be many not in use for anything else. It will ruin all the villages and small towns around this area. We do not want to be surrounded by this monstrosity."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Bridgette Scott
"*At 2,500 acres the proposed development is far too large for the area. *The proposed development will irreversibly damage valuable agricultural land, m land that the UK cannot afford to lose as we are not self-sufficient in food. *There is absolutely no grantee that ther land will be able to be returned to agricultural use after the 40 year plan for using the site to generate solar power has expired. *The proposed development has batteries that will severely impact the natural beauty of the area. *The proposed development plan 77 acres of batteries that are prone to coaching fire and releasing toxic fumes. When alight they are almost impossible to extinguish. *The construction of the proposed development will make the roads surrounding the proposed development almost impossible to navigate with a huge increase in heavy goods traffic on roads not designed for their use. *Over thirty miles of security fencing will be erected during the construction. *There will be no benefit for local employment or businesses, the construction will be completed by a company based in Yorkshire *Sunnica’s business plan has nothing to do with renewable energy production for the UK and has more to do with buying electricity from the UK grid when it is cheap, storing it in dangerous batteries and then selling it back to the UK grid at higher prices during peak time generating profits for its Spanish owners. *Sunnica have so far refused to engage with local communities."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Caroline Prince
"With the ever increasing need for this country to reduce it's dependence upon other countries for its food supply, it is wrong to use good agricultural land for the mounting of solar panels and batteries when there are a considerable number of roof spaces available on domestic and commercial properties that should be used before committing to taking productive land out of use for a minimum of 25 years."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christina Engelbrecht
"I strongly object to this application. My reasons and main concerns are as follows: 1. Loss of high grade agricultural farm land which is now needed more than ever to ensure the UK produces more of its own food 2. No guarantee that it will be returned to agricultural usage at the end of the life of the solar plant rather than being designated as brown field and used for further development 3. No decommissioning funding built into the plans which could result in the solar plant being left to rot for many years 4. The safety of the batteries and their location close to populated areas 5. Loss of habitat / disruption to wildlife"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christopher William Henson
"Traffic passing front door, road not built for heavy /large vehicles, Why Solar, why so large, Effect on the wild life and countryside, effect of vibrations on the property"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Clare James
"Hi! As a villager near to the proposed Sunnica site I am worried about the below: . The loss of habitat for wildlife. Hedgerows and land is already being lost to housing and we don't need any more loss . The worry of fire breaking out and spreading to nearby houses/villages . No previous solar farm has been build this big before, can we say that it is safe for the people living nearby? . There is no benefit to the local villages, it won't supply the local energy requirements I dont believe . Does the carbon footprint to make and place into situ the solar park ouweigh the amount saved? I doubt it and now facts on this matter have been presented. . Will the value of all peoples homes be affected? . Loss of good farming land, can we do this when we are trying to protect as much as we can to help CO2 emissions. . People dont want to give up the land, it is being purchased under a CPO. This means it isn't sitting their dormnabt it is being used for farming/studs/social areas. . What happens at the end of the life of Sunnica? Can the solar panels be reused/recycled? What about the land? Will it still be fertile, will the concrete/cabling be removed? These are all considerations we need too consider for future generations. Im not against solar but please think before this and don't put all our villages in the area into a experiment that could possibly affect our health/lives/pets and housing future. Not to mention the wildlife that is all around us, one for the lovely reasons I moved to the area. Regards, Clare"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Douglas John Longmuir
"i am [Redacted] and have lived in and near Freckenham Village all my life, a beautiful place to live with lovely walks and scenery, many public footpaths and productive farmland supporting a huge range of birds, animals, and plants, to cover this area with plastic solar panels will have a devastating effect on the quality of life of myself and thousands of people who live here, please dont do this to our lovely area"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Eleanor Scott
"*At 2,500 acres the proposed development is far too large for the area. *The proposed development will irreversibly damage valuable agricultural land, m land that the UK cannot afford to lose as we are not self-sufficient in food. *There is absolutely no grantee that ther land will be able to be returned to agricultural use after the 40 year plan for using the site to generate solar power has expired. *The proposed development has batteries that will severely impact the natural beauty of the area. *The proposed development plan 77 acres of batteries that are prone to coaching fire and releasing toxic fumes. When alight they are almost impossible to extinguish. *The construction of the proposed development will make the roads surrounding the proposed development almost impossible to navigate with a huge increase in heavy goods traffic on roads not designed for their use. *Over thirty miles of security fencing will be erected during the construction. *There will be no benefit for local employment or businesses, the construction will be completed by a company based in Yorkshire *Sunnica’s business plan has nothing to do with renewable energy production for the UK and has more to do with buying electricity from the UK grid when it is cheap, storing it in dangerous batteries and then selling it back to the UK grid at higher prices during peak time generating profits for its Spanish owners. *Sunnica have so far refused to engage with local communities."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gail Baker
"I object to the scheme because The questions surrounding the danger of approx 300 battery containers over the 3 sites has not been addressed by Sunnica. The loss to the archaeological landscape and biodiversity will be enormous. Who will be responsible and cover the cost of returning prime agricultural to its original use? Or will it end up designated as a brownfield site and lost to its original purpose? I am concerned that the solar panels will apparently be sourced from China, and probably from the Uyghur region by [Redacted] slave labour. The carbon footprint alone will never make this site green. Village roads, which are already poorly maintained, will never stand up to the increase of traffic as they are used by addition of 1682 staff vehicles and 200 HGV 6 out of 7 days a week."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Grahame Radford
"As a local resident who supports efforts to save our planet and for many years have enjoyed the local area for walking and cycling, I am objecting to this proposal for the following reasons:- 1). This is valuable arable farmland which will be lost for many years, with no guarantee that it will ever be returned. This area makes a major contribution to the vegetable growing industry in the UK and we need to be more self sufficient. 2). The disruption to local traffic and amenities during construction, operation and eventual de-commissioning will have a major impact on the local population and wildlife for a considerable time. 3) With regard operational noise, we already have a smaller battery storage installation in Burwell which is not "quiet" by any means as there is a constant "humming" noise which can be heard by local residents. The scale of the proposed installation would mean a lot more noise during operation 24/7, disturbing the tranquility of nearby residents and wildlife. 4) The solar energy produced is not necessarily going to be of benefit the local community as the generated power is to be released into the national grid through he Burwell sub-station. 5) The installation is not necessarily going to benefit the UK economy as I understand the solar panel, a main ingrefient, will be manufactured in China and the profits from the scheme will be going to Spain. The construction is not scheduled to benefit the local workforce either as the main contractor is based in Yorkshire. 6) The battery storage compounds will take up an every large area and are a potential safety hazard, as has been experienced in other countries. 7) The amount of security fencing required will be an almost permanent eyesore on the local landscape. In addition, there are proposed to be additional 12m high installations at the substation, adding to an already unsightly installation. 8) I understand that the installation will never be classed as "green", in that it will create more carbon than it saves throughout its lifetime. In conclusion, as this proposal will be the largest scheme of its kind in Europe, I can't help thinking that this is purely a money-making scheme designed on the back of a so-called "green" lobby and will only benefit the owners. Also, in my personal opinion, the amount of capital required by the proposers to get to this stage makes me fear that the deal has already been done at a high level. However, I sincerely hope that common sense will eventually prevail and the proposal is refused."
Members of the Public/Businesses
James Fellowes
"I work in the the 3rd sector I am pro environmental programmes I am pro solar BUT I am urging the inspectorate to to take into account the local people's very significant concerns about Sunnica Concerns include - high risk of explosions Destruction of local biosphere Ruining a beautiful area Using prime food growing land - rather than industrial waste"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julian Scott
"1. At 2,500 acres the proposed development is far too large for the area. 2. The proposed development will irreversibly damage valuable agricultural land, m land that the UK cannot afford to lose as we are not self-sufficient in food. 3. The proposed development has batteries that will severely impact the natural beauty off the area. 4. The proposed development plan 77 acres of batteries that are prone to coaching fire and releasing toxic fumes. When alight they are almost impossible to extinguish. 5. The construction of the proposed development will make the roads surrounding the proposed development almost impossible to navigate with a huge increase in heavy goods traffic on roads not designed for their use. 6. Over thirty miles of security fencing will be erected during the construction 7. Sunnica’s business plan has little to do with renewable energy production for the UK and has more to do with buying electricity from the UK grid when it is cheap, storing it in dangerous batteries and then selling it back to the UK grid at higher prices during peak time generating profits for its Spanish owners."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kelvin Morgan
"Britain faces a worsening agricultural crisis if it presses ahead with turning thousands of acres of land into solar farms to meet net zero carbon targets. If the proposals are given the go-ahead, it could take as much as 150,000 acres of agricultural land out of production. The change will increase Britain’s dependency on food imports. Solar farm development is best located on lower quality agricultural land, avoiding the most productive and versatile soils. Brownfield first approach to solar should be adopted. We need to be smart in our approach. It makes no sense to let the countryside become a patchwork quilt of solar panels. We've no doubt it would have a detrimental effect on the horseracing industry. If Newmarket wants to remain the world centre of horseracing it can't afford to have Sunnica as its neighbour. The process seems to be all about the developer. They can get away with doing the bare minimum. The first many knew about the scheme was when a brochure in a white envelope addressed only to ‘The Resident’ was posted through our letterboxes. Many mistook it for junk mail and threw it straight into their recycling bins. Sunnica offered online ‘webinars’ but a significant proportion of the population are older people who don’t have access to a computer. In some areas, there is no internet connection at all. Representatives of Sunnica have still to attend any public meetings in the area. The solar panels would almost reach people’s back gardens and in Isleham. Even the most ardent supporter of renewable energy can see that putting a huge battery farm right next to villages is a bad idea."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lesley Coltham
"Loss of prime agricultural land and it’s associated wildlife. Use of green site instead of one of the numerous brown sites in UK, or utilisation of domestic property rooftops. Concern of the safety of the battery storage. The proven low efficiency of solar in the UK. The increase in traffic through villages effected, and the associated emissions in these village communities. The purchase of the solar panels from China, with both its human rights violations and essential parts being manufactured in the Uyghur region which is prominent for its use of slave labour."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Malcolm Watkinson
"I do not want the countryside around my village ruined."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rosemary Hendrick
"I have lived in Isleham over 25 years. I have slowly watched the erosion of prime farming land and now with Sunnica land use age is totally unacceptable. I accept heavy machinery and farm vehicles in this area but the large lorries etc using B roads on local roads to build and service Sunnica would be a nightmare for the communities affected. I am all for green energy but this is a price to high to pay and with NO benefit to the villages and environment"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Fellowes
"I am [Redacted] villager in Snailwell and have lived in this beautiful area for 60+ years I am scared out of my wits at the risk of the Sunnica development. It will ruin our beautiful village, endanger our villagers and they didn't even have the courtesy to attend the meeting with our MPs to discuss our concerns. There seems to be no consultation whatsoever for something that could ruin our lives. Less of an issue for me as I am in my final years but unspeakable for everyone else in the area. PLEASE listen."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Terry Wood
"The development is too big. It will create more pollution than it saves. It is being built on very productive farmland. The batteries are considered dangerous by many experts due to potential fire risks."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tim Jones
"The development of a solar farm of such magnitude as that proposed by Sunnica represents a complete alteration to the fabric of the countryside upon which it will be built. Combined with the elimination of a large swathe of productive agricultural land for generations to come, the harm to the rural way of life for the local community for an ever evolving energy industry where any gains are likely to be short lived as other more sustainable energy sources are unveiled, is immense and forecast gains are misplaced and unbalanced in the medium and long term."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Farr
"I vehemently OPPOSE this scheme. The lose of good agricultural land and our wonderful wildlife will be immense. The disruption to our rural villages will be completely unacceptable. The possibility of contamination from the batteries is a real threat to life and the land will never be able to return to its current use. The carbon produced during construction and during the lifetime of the project will be far more than it could possibly save - the only people who would benefit from this are Sunnica's Spanish owners - not the environment or the local community. This project should not go ahead."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ben Sale
"I object to the scale of this proposed solar farm. The close proximity to Chippenham Fen nature reserve is of immense concern to me. I currently record wildlife voluntarily at Chippenhan Fen, and a lot of the local species rely on the adjacent land to thrive on. Kind regards Ben"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christine Shaw
"Interested to see how relevant this is for energy saving and environment"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Mark Hows
"I work opposite one of the proposed sites and a small nature reserve that I manage is adjacent to the same site, this will ruin the area, destroy valuable wildlife habitat and is totally inappropriate for the area. Locally we have massive industrial buildings, supermarkets etc. why are solar panels not sited on these roofs leaving the land free for wildlife and agriculture. This site floods regularly and is totally unsuitable for development please reject this application."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Stephen Taylor
"1) This area is suited to solar energy. Over 10 years my own panels have exceeded Europa estimate by 10% 2) The peak output is close to the output of one of the two Sizewell B generators, but the build cost would be a tiny proportion of the cost of nuclear. 3) Several hundred acres of maize were grown in the area this last seaon - destined for biodigester plants. Solar panels would be a far more efficient substitute. 4) The landscaping and environmental proposals of the Sunnica plan would be a local enhancement when compared to the large hedgeless fields of monoculture that are prevalent. The removal of slurry spreading, herbicide and pesticide spraying, and diesel machinery use would be very beneficial to our environment. 5) We urgently need more eco generation to power the exponential boom in electric transport. I strongly support the proposal."
Members of the Public/Businesses
James Toller
"As a person who has spent my entire working life working in racing and been on Newmarket Heath most days I feel very strongly that the Sunnica development would be very detrimental to an area of great historical significance as well as a unique landscape and could threaten the whole racing and breeding industry in the area. It does not appear to be going to produce any benefits to the local economy and more likely be detrimental. The potential danger is unacceptable and could devastate the whole area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Bavister
"To focus on the real finite generation of Carbon released by the use of PVs and the deadly poison generated by a spontaneous combusting storage battery. and how PVs are not a solution to climate change"
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Bruton
"• Vast development on greenfield land – 2500 acres (11 times bigger than any operational solar plant in UK • Developed by a company which is not an energy producer and is using the project as an economic vehicle for profit. • Sunnica’s balance sheet is in negative balance which raises the issue of what happens if they were to go bankrupt in the course of development or the lifespan of the project. • No benefit to local area or people- no net gain of affordable electricity – no employment of local people as proposed constructors not local • Not a carbon neutral plan – either in terms of footprint or net energy gain. Panels use finite non-renewable materials in construction and are likely to be transported from China • Unethical products – made in country run by a totalitarian regime who promulgate modern slavery • Concrete – 100 acres – will cause further depletion of resources using more carbon and ultimately become waste to be disposed of. • Pollution – noise of construction – dust over a two year construction period – dust and fumes from construction causing increase in morbidity and mortality in cardio-respiratory disease and malignancy. • Road damage – the roads in the area are already in a fragile state and the huge increase in heavy construction traffic will cause further deterioration • Impact on natural environment – loss of wildlife habit during development – with inadequate provision of protected habitat during development – species including stone curlews, brown hares and several bat species – loss of grassland flora. • Visual impact – cursory appraisal of viewpoints and contours – comment in consultation that the local land is “flat” – there is a rise of 4 m in South west view from our property (OS confirmed) – giving apparent height of panels 6.5 m on the horizon. • Inadequate screening – immature planting will take 20 yrs to reach effective height (developers admission) – this is half the lifespan of the project. • Fire risk – lithium ion batteries have a well know fire risk from portable devices to industrial battery plants – they have been banned in Arizona – fire in Liverpool – inadequate provision for fire management – risk to life and landscape – potential for wild fire in an area with low rainfall. • Lack of guarantee of adequate decommissioning in terms of protected fund and restoration of land to agricultural land • Loss of food production at a time where we have population growth and an economic and environmental need to produce our own food. • Devaluation of property prices – there will be a selective devaluation of local properties which will reduce opportunity for people to realise their assets at a later stage. (may be necessary for pensions and care funding purposes) • This a relatively short term plan with the potential for waste • If solar panels were thought to be necessary they could be fitted to property – all new builds domestic and commercial and retro fitted to existing properties"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kiriaki Soultana
"I am objecting to the Sunnica Energy Farm application given its enormous impact on me and the residents of my community. While I support the principle of renewable energy projects, a project of this scale and magnitude will have a disproportionate negative impact on the quality of life of local residents and will be damaging to the local environment and the mental and economic welfare of my community. We need sustainable, low impact solutions that are supported and cherished by local residents, that can guarantee the longevity and prosperity of the natural resources we have available to us. The proposals to Sunnica Energy Farm do not meet these needs - rather, the project will cause daily disruption on the roads, and a lifetime of disruption to how we can appreciate and benefit from our natural resources and farmland. I am deeply disturbed by the allegations claims that prospective suppliers to Sunnica Energy Farm for solar panel production cannot be verified as excluding slave labour, that the project is unlikely to meaningfully contribute to our Net Zero pledge, and that there are great dangers involved in such a complex and widespread project - for which the developers have no comparable experience in completing. In today’s society, other solutions must be available that do not negatively impact our community. We would fully support renewable energy projects that do not bring a stain to our economy, but Sunnica Energy Farm will be a great concern."
Non-Statutory Organisations
Lady Frances Peyton Hospital Almshouse Charity
"The Charity owns and has registered title of 7 acres immediately adjacent (within 50 metres) to the proposed Sunnica A East site. This land is to the north of the proposals adjacent to the Lee Brook in Isleham. There has been no notification of the proposals from Sunnica to the Charity and consequently no consultation as to its impact to the Charity’s land as an immediate neighbour. This disregard of the Charity as immediate neighbours does not fit with Sunnica's statements in the Consultation Report EN010106/APP/5 relating to the identification of consultees under s42(1)(d) Paras 4.3.5 to 4.3.9. The Charity wishes to raise the following concerns The scale of this industrial development is overwhelming in what is a wholly an agricultural area. The loss of what we know to be very productive arable land. The potential risk of soil pollution from the solar panels and batteries being installed over the operating period. The impact of the proposals on the run off from the site to the Lee Brook, a chalk stream, in construction, operating and decommissioning phases. The use of the area for large scale battery storage which presents an unacceptable risk in the event of their catching fire as appears to be common. The impact on the value of a major asset of the Charity of the development limiting options for its future use. The mitigation measures for screening are inappropriate. The long range views from Sheldrick's and Beck Roads in Isleham are dramatically shortened by the proposed planting and will be lost forever."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Leonard Cooper
"It just isn't necessary for this energy farm ,its yet more destruction of habitat"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mark Geddie
"I feel this is poorly thought out, Green space should remain green. This could be better utilised by utilising already built structures for solar, for example roof structures of multi storey car parks"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Carey Beckett
"This planned solar plant is far far too big and should not be allowed. >This should not be happening on such good agricultural land that should be used to provide food for our country. It is also going to surround our villages, ruin enjoyable walks on footpaths and impact on the value of our homes. >This is dangerous with battery plants that can easily catch fire and then cannot be put out and would emit toxic chemicals into the air. >This is not a green option. The C02 output will be huge, involving thousands of vehicles on our small country lanes. >This will endanger mammals birds and all living creatures. I have watched barn owls hunt, foxes hares and deer all use this land which they will no longer be able to. >Please I beg you not to let this plan go ahead."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nicholas Webb
"I am concerned about a lithium battery fire. Risk and impacts : Given the current huge lithium battery fire of cars in a ship in the Atlantic, costing car manufacturers millions, the risk looks finite and should be expected to occur. These fires burn above 1000C and cannot be put out by water, but just cooled to try to prevent other batteries getting too hot and also catching fire. The proposed provision to contain individual battery groups in sealed continers with thier own extinguser system needs to be challenged in detail by an independent consultant with knowledge of the subject. If these containers are breached (I suspect they will) the local domestic fire service are ill-prepared to deal with an incident. There probably will not be enough water avialable in the local rivers and lodes or in the domestic water supply to provide the necessary huges volume required for the duration of the fires, and any used will become polluted by lithium combustion products. This risks polluting the groundwater and local surface water drainage, as no containment tanks are planned, and so likely to end up in the ground water and surface runoff ending up in the River Camb, some of which is diverted at Denver Sluice to the Lea valley which supplies London. (In the 1950s Atrazine from the then Boots factory at Hauxton in Cambridge took this same route and ended up damaging tomato plants being grown commercially along the Lea valley.) This plan needs to commit resources to trianing and equipping the local fire services with the necessary skills and equipment ( and ongoing maintenance) for their use in the event of a breach. Calculations should be done on the volume of coolant water which may be needed. Anglia Water need to be consulted as to whether this volume can be provided and what mitigation they would want to see to protect the ground and surface waters. Resouces wil be needed for Anglia Water to monitor the ground and surface water quality before and after the installation,and for the duraiton of the solar energy farm, and its final remediation back to farmland. All the batteries should be contained in concrete tanks sufficent to hold all the necceary coolant water runoff."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nick George
"It seems to me totally wrong to take such a large area of productive land out of food production when we are having to import food from abroad thereby leading to hugely increased ‘food miles’."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nicola Farr
"I oppose this scheme. It is way too large and will destroy our rural countryside with untold damage to wildlife. It is proposing to use good quality farmland which may never be able to return to it's former state. The carbon footprint generated by building this 'green scheme' will create far more carbon in it's lifetime than it will ever save. The disruption to our villages whilst being constructed will be immense and unacceptable."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Oliver Rubinstein
"Concerns about scale, impact on landscape and loss of productive farmland. Significant concerns about the amount of farmland being taken out of production and the increased likelihood of this going for development once the solar farm has reached the end of its life. The scale of the project and the quantity of nearby solar farms. The use of compulsory purchase powers to enable the cabling work. The lack of any real consultation with local communities."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Ingram
"I fully support this project Environmental must for our children Best use of poor agricultural land"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Hurst
"The destruction of much need rural land, wildlife, flora and Forna The fact that it will produce a laughably small amount of energy There is no plan for the safe disposal of the solar panels The effect on the health of people in the near vicinity of the solar panels Lack of open space"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sinead Bruton
"I strongly object to this scheme and am in complete shock that a scheme of this magnitude is even being considered. This vast proposed development on green field agricultural land will be 11 times bigger than any operational solar plant in the UK and is surrounding several villages and other dwellings and will change the landscape forever. I have asked for examples of solar developments near houses but no examples have been shown to me and there are many good reasons for this. CONSTRUCTION Sunnica is not an energy producer and is using the project as a money making scheme. Their balance sheet is negative so one wonders what would happen if they became bankrupt in the course of development or the lifespan of the project. There is no benefit to the local area or employment because the proposed constructors are not local and the electricity generation is not for local consumption or will it be at an affordable price. This is not a carbon neutral plan in terms of footprint or net energy gain. The panels are lightly to be transported from China and use finite non-renewable materials in the construction. The areas Road networks would definitely suffer during the construction of the scheme. The roads currently are small in parts and not in the best of condition and the huge increase in heavy construction traffic will cause complete destruction. So much pollution will be created during the construction period of two years with the noise, dust and fumes potentially making people unwell and causing an increase in mortality. Over 100 acres of concrete will be required and this will cause further depletion of resources using more carbon which will become waste to be disposed of ultimately making the scheme into a brownfield site rather than returning to agricultural use. There will be an impact on the natural environment with the complete loss of wildlife habitats during development and there is inadequate provision of protected habitat. You cannot say to Stone Curlews, brown hares and bats that this is only during construction, come back later. There will also be a complete loss of of grassland fauna particular to this area. OPERATION In a zoom consultation with Sunnica on a question about visual impact they suggested that the local land is flat but from the rear of my house there is a rise of 4m in south west view (OS confirmed) and this will give the apparent height of the panels 6.5m on the horizon. The screening for the panels is inadequate, Sunnica have admitted that they will use immature planting which will take 20 years to reach effective height. There is a big fire risk from lithium ion batteries and inadequate provision for fire management causing a risk to life and landscape and potential for wild fires in an area of low rainfall which is close to more densely populated areas. There will be a selective devaluation of local properties which will reduce opportunity for people to realise their assets at a later stage which could be used for pensions and care funding purposes This is a relatively short term plan with the potential to completely destroyed a unique area of this country’s countryside"
Members of the Public/Businesses
The Pines Primary School
"The Pines Primary School is situated on the outskirts of Red Lodge, approximately 1.5 miles from the largest of the proposed battery stores. The Pines currently has places for up to 150 primary school pupils and 38 pre-school children with plans to extend to up 670 pupils in total in the future. As headteacher, I wish to object to the proposed Sunnica Solar Farms given the potential risk to the pupils and staff at the school. It is well documented that fires at battery stores are extremely difficult to extinguish taking weeks, rather than hours and produce lethal gases. Those premises within the local area of battery storage facilities will need an emergency evacuation plan, however, it would be impossible to evacuate large numbers of pupils and staff in the time required to prevent injury/death. Having read the Sunnica fire risk assessment, my concerns are that the current planning application proposes an unacceptable health and safety risk to the pupils and staff at The Pines."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Hardy
"I object to this application for the following reasons. *I walk and cycle from my home to work in Mildenhall through lovely countryside, which will become a vast industrial estate, removing large areas of good farmland, this means I will probably go back to using my car, so I don't have to look at the destruction for too long. *Working in Mildenhall Industrial estate, I see vast areas of industial roofs with no solar panels and there seems to be no planning in place, to make use of all the roofs in this country, while we as usual take the easy route for a quick profit and destroy the countryside. *New houses are still being built to a low standard of energy efficiency and no solar panels on the roof, while projects like this destroy our countryside. *Everything to do with this project seems to be about quick profit for companies, rather than the goverment having a long term, healthy, energy stratergy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Looper
"I object to this application and understand that at this stage you require an outline of these matters as opposed to a detailed objection, which will be requested at a later date. The views expressed are solely my own personal views as a resident and community member and do not represent the views of any others persons or organisations. The Sunnica project is vast; significantly and detrimentally impacting a number of small, rural villages, where the historic and dominant character of the area is an agricultural landscape. The proposed solar development would encircle and dominate several rural villages and would significantly alter the beauty of these places. It would ultimately result in these village becoming islands in the midst of a vast array of solar infrastructure. The effect on historic settlements would be harmful and the impact on heritage would be significant. The effect on archaeological significance is also a concern. The landscape impacts would be detrimental- this area ranges from flat fen landscape to rolling fields. Both would be highly visible within the landscape despite landscaping mitigation due to the changes in land levels and the public viewpoints that can be achieved. The districts in which the project is proposed have already accepted more appropriately scaled solar development. The proposed development would be of a significantly larger scale and the area would be dominated by solar development. The cumulative impact must be considered. It should also be noted that this project is located in an area known for its Grade 1 Agricultural Land, the loss of which would be highly detrimental. This is not one field that can be ‘rested’, it is a significant portion of land spread out across the area which will no longer farmed. This area is famed for its agriculture and food production, and the economical implications for our food industry must be considered, as well as the resulting implications in terms of carbon emissions from further importation of food. With the climate crisis and decline in wildlife there is greater emphasis in both local and national policy in terms of creating, preserving and enhancing habitats for wildlife. The proposal would result in an industrial landscape which would significantly impact on the wildlife that we are lucky to have here. It will interrupt wildlife routes, breeding and hunting grounds, habitats and nests, and significantly reduce ecological permeability. Once these habitats are disrupted it would not be possible to rectify. It would take years of significant investment, wildlife conservation and reintroduction, and habitat creation in order to reintroduce even a small percentage of the wildlife lost. The proposal would disrupt transport and publicly accessible walking routes. This area of the country simply does not have the transport infrastructure to facilitate the kind of construction traffic that will be required for a project of this scale. In addition, the temporary access roads that will need to be built will further disrupt the countryside and wildlife habitats. I would welcome the opportunity to provide more detailed representation."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Hall
"I am a resident of Worlington and have been for the last 26 years. Whilst in general I support renewable energy, I strongly object to this application for the following reasons. - This is an industrial scale project that is far too big. - It would use about 2,500 acres of greenfield land in total and a significant amount around where I live. - The countryside landscape and walks around Worlington and other villages will be negatively impacted by a 'sea' of solar panels, miles and miles of security fencing and battery systems. - I have real concerns that the value of my house will be reduced. - It will mean the loss of valuable countryside for years, possibly generations. - I have real safety concerns about the Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) proposed in this application. - The local wildlife species will be negatively impacted by this application. - The additional traffic, especially HGV's, the noise and the pollution from a project of this scale will affect me badly as I live on The Street in Worlington. Chris Hall 1st March 2022 [Redacted]"
Members of the Public/Businesses
D R Kerr
"I object to this project because it will mean a huge area of good farmland will be permanently transferred to commercial use. 1. We need to be more self sufficient as a nation, and our arable land is a precious resource. Solar energy belongs offshore where existing wind power infrastructure can manage far larger arrays. 2. Such a large area will be impossible to hide from view and will wipe out a significant section of attractive countryside, which is essential for recreation."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Deborah Blackwell
"I very strongly object to the Sunnica and herewith are my reasons: 1. It will destroy thousands of acres of greenfield land which will never be returned to its former agricultural use as it will become a brownfield site ripe for more development. 2. Why use prime agicultural land, in a time when we are trying to become self sufficient trying to grow our own food. There are plenty of industrial buildings on brownfield sites that could have panels put on them. 3. Sunnica does not want to save our planet, they just want to line their own pockets by buying electricity off the grid during the day, storing it, and selling it back during peak hours at a higher price. 4. The stunning gallops of Newmarket go back to Charles 11, it is a rich and important heritage for the people of Newmarket and all the surrounding villages. It will ruin that beautiful landscape. 5. I am a member of Royal Worlington & Newmarket Golf course where 325 members come and enjoy playing on this beautiful, rural course. It will virtually be surrounded by hundreds of acres of solar panels and accessing this course while it is being built will cause horrific problems. I really believe the area will be a hell hole for the two years it is going to take to build it. The golf course will never be the same, it could easily become a place where nobody wants to come and play and, therefore, could struggle to survive. 6. I believe the panels are coming from China and I think it would be very embarrassing for our government if it was discovered they were made by the enslaved Uighurs."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Charles Moseley
"I object most strongly to this proposal on environmental, economic, social and aesthetic grounds. 1. It is simply stupid, in a time of increasing global uncertainty and when food supplies cannot be guaranteed from abroad when suppliers will be selling to the market of n]nest value to them - which may not be the UK - to cover prime agricultural land with these devices. The safety of battery storage is not proven, and if things go wrong, the effect is dreadful. 2. The long term economics of the scheme simply do not make sense saev to the shareholders of Sunnica. no ALLOWANCE IS MADE FOR THE LOSS OF ECONOMIC BENEFIT OF PRODUCTIVE LAND: THAT IS A COST TOO. 3. Sunnica would be far better advised to research the construction of tidal power generators - which does not necessarily mean barrages - for the tiddes are far more reliable than sunlight. 4. The scheme would be an eyesore, quite simply. I have never seen one that was not ugly. 5. It is right next to some of the most desirable villages in Cambridgsehire and Suffolk."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ed Lubbock
"Size. The project is very large, it is old technology that will soon be out of date. It is not primarily about producing green energy but energy trading. Storing energy, exported from the grid when it is cheap, then sold back at peak times when demand is high. At a time when should be maximising food production the scheme takes farm land out of production. It is not an 'Energy Farm' it is a Power Station surrounding a village. Sunnica will build the power station and then sell it, who will the decommissioning costs be met by? The construction phase will be lengthy, site traffic will cause massive local disruption & damage to local roads. Local benefits appear to be non-existent. Safety of the Batterys."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hugh Murray
"The Icknield Way is the name given to the Public Right of Way that runs from Snailwell to the A1304. It is known in the various Sunnica documents as 204/5. Appendix 13A, Sub Chart E of the Provisional Environmental Impact Report (PEIR), states that this Right of Way is to be closed along the greater part of its length for the entire duration of the construction phase of about two years. Closure of this path will have an adverse effect on myself and many others. It is quite heavily trafficked, largely because it is mostly metalled and is therefore suitable in all weathers for walking, cycling and horse-riding, including, notably, by persons with disabilities. Whilst it is true that alternative routes are available, the Icknield Way is essentially a recreational route and its loss will deprive dog walkers, cyclists, riders, hikers and others of an important amenity. It is not clear why this route needs to be closed. It is outside of the boundary of the scheme and is not really suitable for vehicular access to the scheme. I raised this question at one of the public consultation meetings and the engineer advising Sunnica said that he could see no obvious reason to close the footpath and could not explain why the closure had been proposed. I would therefore ask the Inspectorate to investigate the reasons for this proposed closure and to seek to remove it from the scheme if no adequate reason if provided."
Members of the Public/Businesses
James Woolf
"This solar energy plant is going to trash perfectly good, productive farmland. It will be an unimaginable eyesore in the countryside. It’s construction will create huge amounts of vehicle movements in an area totally unsuited for it. The noise of the ‘legs’ being pile driven into the ground will literally drive people mad, for years. Food previously produced will have to be imported. The carbon produced by its construction is not justified. Solar panels should be mandatory on ALL new buildings which require planning permission instead."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Joanna Winning
"Solar farm is far to big, using farm land that is used for producing food, the lasting affect it will have on the countryside and wildlife within it. The affect that it will have on the small communities. At a time when we are been told to look after the environment. Solar panels should be put on new house that are built and big ware houses and car parks, like in other parts of the world. I am not against solar just the sheer size of this proposed farm and the risk associated of the large batteries near the villages. With the discussion been made by people that don't live or work in the area I don't not think is right. I am worried that they will make the discussion just so they can tick a box. This must not be taken lightly as it will affect a lot of people. The consultation has been very poor, deceiving the public about the true purpose of the project."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Duncan Waller
"I am extremely concerned that: - so much valuable agrecultural land will be lost - the development will be disproportionatly large for the electricity generated - the landscape of a huge area will be completely destroyed - there will be a significant adverse effect on the quality of life for thousands of people in the area - the "green" credentials of the project are doubtful - the financing will probably be be a perk to the rich. I am aware that these schemes are often financed through EIS shares which are mainly a way of giving tax breaks to the already wealthy. - the impact on the area and the environment will be dreadful. - the area will not be returned to its pre-project state."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kerensa Klottrup-Rees
"Objection to size of proposed project, relating to permanent change of the landscape affecting the whole region. Loss of highly productive farm land and the logic of taking farmland for green energy whilst potentially shipping more food in from elsewhere. There is high support in the area for local farmers and buying locally. This does not seem to be a well thought out plan in terms of the overall balance of energy usage. Future plans for the disposal or replacement of solar panels and batteries do not appear to be appropriately considered."
Members of the Public/Businesses
M Kerr
"I object to this project because it will mean a huge area of good farmland will be permanently transferred to commercial use. 1. We need to be more self sufficient as a nation, and our arable land is a precious resource. Solar energy belongs offshore where existing wind power infrastructure can manage far larger arrays. 2. Such a large area will be impossible to hide from view and will wipe out a significant section of attractive countryside, which is essential for recreation"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Swan
"The main areas of concern I have with this type of development is the loss of grade 1 & 2 agricultural land & its impact on the local environment. I live in Burwell where we already have two existing Solar Farms, a Battery Storage System & another Solar Farm under construction. Whilst fully understanding, & accepting, the need for renewable energy I am concerned that locally all such developments are using up acres & acres of grade 1 & 2 agricultural land which once lost are gone for ever. We are so focused on renewable energy but we shouldn't loose site of this country's ability to feed itself. The ability to grow our own food so important especially in this day & age. Importing has a big carbon footprint & is vulnerable to impact from ongoing situations around the world. There is a lot of lower grade land just down the road in Breckland which could be used. it may not be so convenient for access to the Grid so would have higher costs but what's more important, food security or profits. East Anglia is also short of trees & large tress have been felled around Burwell to accommodate renewable energy projects. Cutting down large established trees is criminal. It's no good saying we'll plant ten more trees elsewhere, it takes getting on for 20 years before a tree is able to take on large stores of carbon. We don't have 20 years to play with."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michelle A Ferris
"- I have lived in Worlington for 26 years. - I strongly object to the application. - I am not against solar farms. - I am against the sheer size of this application. It would be a gigantic industrial size site right on the door steps of our villages. - I feel it would destroy the natural flora and fauna of my region. The greenfield land is used for growing crops and has an abundance of species - It would quite possibly destroy the surrounding communities. - The size of the batteries is terrifying and cannot be extinguished should they catch fire and will result in evacuation of our homes so causing a real danger to me and my family. - Being able to enjoy the countryside with all its beauty, fresh air and sharing this with my young grandchildren and dogs would be a thing of the past. - The number of HGV's on our village roads and associated works will have an adverse affect on my life. Noise levels will be dreadful. - The price of my beloved home and all others in the area will surely plummet. - My quality of life will undoubtedly be negatively impacted."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mollie Kerr
"I object to this project because it will mean a huge area of good farmland will be permanently transferred to commercial use. 1. We need to be more self sufficient as a nation, and our arable land is a precious resource. Solar energy belongs offshore where existing wind power infrastructure can manage far larger arrays. 2. Such a large area will be impossible to hide from view and will wipe out a significant section of attractive countryside, which is essential for recreation"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Kevin Wardell
"I do not wish to be surrounded by masses of solar panels in this picturesque location, we wish to spend our retirement in peace not noise,floodlights,and high security fencing."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Christina Wardell
"Move to Isleham late August 2021,thinking that we would have a peaceful retirement,if this goes ahead we will wish we had not moved"
Members of the Public/Businesses
response has attachments
Mrs Malkin
"Please see attached."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ronan Kerr
"I object to this project because it will mean a huge area of good farmland will be permanently transferred to commercial use. 1. We need to be more self sufficient as a nation, and our arable land is a precious resource. Solar energy belongs offshore where existing wind power infrastructure can manage far larger arrays. 2. Such a large area will be impossible to hide from view and will wipe out a significant section of attractive countryside, which is essential for recreation"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Royal Worlington & Newmarket Golf Club
"As a golf club of international reputation and renown we have 3 main concerns: Firstly, we would be vehemently against Golf Links Road being used for any site traffic whatsoever - not only in the construction period but also during the operational and decommissioning phases. Golf Links Road is a very narrow road and not suitable at all really for anything other than domestic traffic. Secondly, we are a world renown golf club (recently voted best 9 hole golf club in the world by a US magazine). We are worried by the impact this project may have on our enviable status and that it may disturb the quiet enjoyment of the golf course that our members presently enjoy. The noise and light pollution it could potentially bring are our main concerns. Lastly from a safety point of view we are concerned about the junction off/on to the A11 and its suitability thereof for the HGV vehicles. The A11 is an extremely fast-moving dual carriageway that carries lots of vehicles each day. Major improvements to (a very long slip road before) the junction leading onto Newmarket Road we believe would be required. Thank you for you consideration of these issues however I reserve the right to raise further matters as the application progresses."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sara Phipps
"I object to the destruction of land which could be better used to produce food , green space , protection of the environment . The noise / carbon footprint to build the site if sunnica go ahead is going to affect burwell and the surrounding villages for some time and more so the infrastructure isn’t there to support such a project . This causing more harm than good ."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Scott Virgo
"I object to this application. Burwell is already overrun with power infrastructure which sadly does have many negatives, from noise, impact to the environment and of course traffic. The main negative is the use of good quality land to be filled with unsightly equipment. It is not the place for more infrastructure in what is left of our open green spaces."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Séverine Leclair
"I believe the planned solar farm by Sunnica is not suitable for the sites that have been considered, nor for the benefit of the local area in which it would be embedded. There are, to my mind, issues regarding the current infrastructure and transport links, which would be made even worse if this project were to go ahead. There are also issues about viable farmland, needed for future food production, being used by the solar farm at a time when the requirements for locally produced food is higher due to issues with importations. Although the country needs to develop its alternative energy capacity, this particular project is neither suitable nor particularly well thought-out. Local voices have been consistently ignored and kept in the dark. The information relating to the project has been kept out of reach of most people and it is highly probable that the ongoing pandemic has been used as an excuse for cancelling public consultations. The project should be at the very least delayed until every opportunity has been given to local people to view and question the plans."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Steven Hamblyn
"This will ruin a vast area of land that is a prime food production area there are plenty of brown sires and industrial rooves that could and should be used. There are plenty of areas that should be used before taking up agricultural food production land."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Yeru Shang
"Looking at the project scheme map, the patches of land are scattered across different areas and are connected by quite long cable route. This could potentially be a waste of energy and materials, also have higher impact to the environment. I would like to know why the developer proposed a site layout like the current one. The satellite maps shows a few patch of large lands closer to the substation, why the developer not pursue those land?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alan T Richardson
"My principal concerns relate to 1. Sunnica's apparent lack of track record in major infrastructures projects given the scale of this scheme. If the scheme fails this could have a major effect on the reputation of decarbonising projects hindering meeting CO2 reduction targets. 2. Major concerns on the safety of the battery storage component of the scheme and Sunnica's apparent lack of expertise in this area constituting a major hazard to public safety (there have been major fire incidents in other smaller battery schemes around the world). 3. Sunnica's outline decommissioning plan foresees them paying into the decommissioning fund from the revenue from the scheme many years after commissioning. Given Sunnica's lack of experience, it is possible that the construction might fail (for example, if they run out of funds) and the authorities be left with the cost of cleaning up the unfinished project 4. The carbon benefit of the scheme as prevented so far is extremely vague. There has been no quantification of the carbon cost of construction through the lorry movements, carbon cost of the infrastructure and the reduction in carbon capture of the land once the panels and batteries are installed. 5. The plan to hide the scheme infrastructure through tree planting is long delayed since the contractor plans to plant saplings towards the end of the construction process which will take many years to obscure the Solar Farm infrastructure. 6. The prior consultation was inadequate. Due to COVID, Sunnica restricted their consultation to a few webinars and took questions through the webinar chat facility without allowing any follow up to their responses. This enabled them to evade most of the questions out during the consultation. They declined to attend a public meeting arranged by the MPs (Lucy Frazer and Matt Hancock) of the constituencies that would be affected by their project."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Albane Colleau
"- my uncle lives there and I’m devastated to see that the plan is to cover agricultural land with solar panels to then remove them in years and cultivate the land again - it’s going to destroy the land underneath >>> the UK is not self sufficient in agriculture and we can’t afford to lose these lands - high pollution: a vast area of concrete will be laid, and it’s going to produce so much carbon >>> this is contrary to what the world is trying to achieve: zero emissions - no local benefit: no meaningful employment >>> it’s going to take agricultural jobs away without even replacing them all!!!!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alexander Czernin
"The primary point of my objection is that the land, once Sunnica has been built, will become a brownfield site. I suggest a provision that protects this land from further development - into housing or offices - beyond the initial remit of renewable energy generation."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Audrey Czernin
"I am opposed to this scheme. - It’s just an opportunity to use an environmental loophole for profit. - those who’s land it is will not be living next to Sunnica will not be impacted - it will reduce house prices, causing a loss of capital for everyday people while increasing the wealth disparity in our area - this is fertile land that should be used for farm land. This project is not environmentally friendly as it is literally preventing us from having the option to grow food locally. - what is the cost to local wildlife going to be? How will reducing the habitat of local fauna and flora then impact the land we already have left. - the batteries are huge and dangerous. They can explode and that makes it scary to live in the area. This can also affect local people’s house insurance. - it will affect local businesses negatively - this just a way for a few (incredibly wealthy) families to get rich at the expense of working people. - the solar panel batteries allow the company to store electricity from the grid and sell it back at peak times. No part of this plan is helping reduce people’s bills nor helping the planet. - it’s not environmentally or socially friendly, it’s using loopholes to be able to then, in 10 years be able to sell the land for housing development - it’s meant to be protected land so protect it -"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brian Penny
"My representation as a private individual stems from concerns over loss of food production land and food security, scale of development, impact of construction traffic and impact on the local environment"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Caroline Toller
"I have lived in the Newmarket area for over 30 years and frequently walk my dogs on the footpath from the gallops to Snailwell, as do a large number of people. The proposed site is adjacent to this footpath and people will no longer feel safe using it. There are a lot of deer and other wildlife in the area and the fencing will have a very detrimental effect on their habitat. In my view this area is totally unsuitable for such a development and the environmental damage it will cause far outweighs any benefits."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Hall
"The complete destruction of local farmland, wildlife habitat and removal of open landscape. The installation of dangerous and explosive batteries"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christian Griffin
"I am objecting to the application due to my concerns for Burwell and surrounding villages loosing valuable good quality farming land for over 20 years, resulting in having to import salads potatoes vegetables and more. The UK is only 64% self sufficient in food now. The Land Sunnica want is good quality irrigated farming land. This land also provides habitats for hundreds of species. I worry for the wildlife, the deer monk-jack hares and alike with natural wildlife runs shut off, they will be pushed to the roads to be killed and cause accidents. This scheme is not green, importing 1,000,000 solar panels and batteries from china leaves a huge carbon footprint. Will the scheme create more carbon in its lifetime than it ever saves ? I am concerned about the seventy seven acres of battery energy storage compounds close to homes, the Sunnica BESS would be the current largest in the world and I am to understand Sunnica LTD has no experience of building BESS on this scale? If the BESS catch fire can they be put out? I am concerned that Sunnica will buy cheap electricity out of the grid from renewable and non renewable sources, store it in their BESS and then sell it back to the grid when it is expensive, creating huge profits for Sunnica's Spanish owners. Their are other ways to generate Solar I am sure, but this application is flawed and also detrimental on a gargantuan level to the beautiful countryside surrounding our local villages, turning the outskirts all around industrial and grey."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christopher Reeks
"I [Redacted] run my business from La Hogue farm immediately adjacent to one of the proposed large areas of solar panels and battery storage units which form part of the Sunnica Energy Farm proposal. I have owned and run a farm shop and café from La Hogue for nearly 20 years. We employ 45 people in the farm shop & café. I object to the Sunnica Energy Farm scheme for the following reasons:- 1. During the construction phase of the energy farm (which will last approximately 2 years) there will be a huge number of vehicle movements down the very narrow access road which leads to my business. This will be incredibly dangerous for both my staff and customers trying to reach my farm shop & café 2. I believe that the inconvenience caused by the construction phase of the scheme will deter customers from visiting the farm shop & café and will have a major adverse impact on turnover and profit of the business 3. I am very concerned and frightened by the proximity of the proposed battery storage units (only one field away from our boundary) and the potential for these to catch fire and pollute the local area 4. The beautiful vista from my café is something that my customers enjoy hugely and this will be destroyed by the Sunnica Energy Farm. This will further put customers off visiting my business and have a detrimental impact on turnover and profit. This will potentially lead to a situation where some staff jobs are lost due to the business becoming significantly quieter. 5. Ground mounted U.K. solar energy generation is a grossly inefficient way of generating energy and completely insignificant in contributing to U.K. power generation capacity. It is a waste of good productive agricultural land."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Clarke
"1. The loss of valuable farmland and food production capacity. 2. The probable loss of financial advantage to the U.K. by profits flowing to a foreign country. 3. The disruption caused by the construction of of this very large project in an area already under increasing traffic stress from house building projects. 4. The environmental damage to flora and fauna and the loss of nationally recognised sites of special interest."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Delyse Ray
"I am objecting to this application because I do not believe it is as "green" as Sunnica suggest. Its large size and the carbon footprint of its components and then its end of life disposal after a short life of 40 years are likely to create more carbon in its lifetime than it saves. It is important to look at the longer term bigger picture and not make poor decisions that will make matters worse in the long run. Using good arable land should be a non starter as there are other alternatives already being implemented by local councils in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Solar panels on commercial roofs, housing and on brownfield sites with smaller local battery storage has proven to be more acceptable and the numbers of such sites could be quickly and easily increased. Solar panels and large battery storage areas on productive arable land has implications for the countryside environmentally and food security. I do not consider the detail in the application is sufficient for such an important decision. How is the site going to be returned to farmland after 40 years? What is the carbon footprint of doing so? How are batteries disposed of and at what cost? Who fits the bill if Sunnica go bankrupt? Details are also poor in regard to the dangers of battery storage. Details of one small fire safety test are insufficient when considering the damage previous fires have done in less populated areas around the world. Sunnica says "Precise number and dimensions to be fixed at the detailed design stage if approved", surely full details should be given before approval. Further more the following are quite unacceptable considering the risks associated with battery storage. Appendix 16D BESS. Housing in metal containers. These should also be fire suppressant and be insulated against extremes of climate especially heat. 3.1.2 Comment is invalid because of climate change. 4.1.7 Using the word unlikely when talking about fire spreading is unacceptable. Proof should be given that fire cannot spread or even start. In conclusion, better environmentally friendly options are possible and could be implemented more quickly with less destruction to communities, productive land and the environment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Joanne Ward on behalf of Edmond Ward
"Very concerned about this development 1/ It will affect the beauty of this lovely countryside 2/ Birds and wildlife will lose their breeding areas 3/ Roads around Isleham are inadequate for heavy vehicles"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Elaine Twigg
"To take FERTILE ARABLE LAND Is criminal To destroy WILD LIFE HABITS is criminal To increase the possibility of FLOODING is criminal IRREPLACEABLE country side,possibility of fires producing poisonous gases,unsightly views the depreciation of my home. The whole thing is DEPRESSING and very upsetting."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Grace Hale
"Sunnica is a extremely dangerous and damaging proposal to the countryside. As a mum [Redacted] i would be devastated if this goes ahead and will move away from the area for my baby’s safety. The farm land is one of the best for growing vegetables and it is so important the UK produce and use their own produce. I am hoping someone see sense and finally cancels this ludicrous planning idea!!!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hilary Binks
"I wish to object to this application. The use of good, productive farm land is extremely short sighted. This country will need to continue producing its own food even more than currently as the population increases, reliance on importing foodstuff from other countries will put us at threat of food shortages if elsewhere reduces food exports to GB. The detrimental effects on the mental health of the population in the areas of the proposed solar farm can be demonstrated if we look back to recent solar installations in Burwell in early 2020 especially in terms of constant noise pollution, heavy vehicle traffic on narrow country roads, destruction of said road surfaces and wildlife habitats. The siting of BESS in Burwell will only increase the constant noise from the existing set-up which is far in excess of that promised by the previous installation company. This, together with the fire risk in an area of reduced access, will put the village occupants at increased threat of uncontrollable fire, and result in devaluation of homes and, indeed devaluation of residential amenity."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ian Fulcher
"These are areas of great natural beauty. I and my family regularly walk dogs in these areas. The whole character of the area will be irrevocably changed by this grotesque development. We have seen recently that it's extremely important to keep food production local, both for sustainability and for security of supply. I am of course in favour of green energy but put these facilities offshore where they do not affect the beauty of our countryside. These are truly massive scars on the landscape. England does not have enough spare farming land to give up huge tracts like this."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jack Reeks
"I live [Redacted] immediately adjacent to one of the proposed large areas of solar panels and battery storage units which form part of the Sunnica Energy Farm proposal. I object to the Sunnica Energy Farm scheme for the following reasons:- 1.During the construction phase of the energy farm (which will last approximately 2 years) there will be a huge number of vehicle movements down the very narrow access road which leads to my home. This will be incredibly dangerous for anyone using the road. It will also be very noisy and dusty. 2. I am very concerned and frightened by the proximity of the proposed battery storage units (only one field away from my home) and the potential for these to catch fire and pollute the local area. 3. Ground mounted U.K. solar energy generation is a grossly inefficient way of generating energy and completely insignificant in contributing to U.K. power generation capacity. It is a waste of good productive agricultural land. 4. I live in a very attractive area and the solar panels are going to destroy a beautiful landscape."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Janise Cook
"That this proposal takes away important farmland which we need for food production The solar farm will be an eyesore and too large a scale It will take away the countryside and turn it into a industrial site which is out of character for the area and will change the area forever . It will damage local businesses It will affect local wildlife as they will use weedkiller to stop plants growing infront of the panels"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jennie Simcock
"I oppose the Sunnica Energy Farm application. Having lived and worked in Newmarket for over twenty years and are settled with a family Racehorse Training Business and two young children I cannot see any benefit to our local area of the proposed Sunnica application. From a Racehorse Training Centre perspective the proposed development will severely affect the landscape and beauty of the local area (with particular reference to the backdrop of the Limekilns / Railway Land gallops). The building and development of the site over a 3 year period will only be detrimental to local roads / access / villages and this hugely impacts the safety of our riders carrying out daily racehorse exercise. A big personal concern is the prospect of the current greenfield land becoming a "brownfield site" and hence further compromising the ability to restrict houses being built within / near the Racehorse Training Centre - a world renowned 'jewel' in British Horseracing. It is a project being "sold" as Green but given the huge infrastructural requirements - concrete road ways, miles of security fencing, the 3 BESS sites, loss of excellent agricultural land & the analysis that shows the scheme will create more carbon in it's lifetime than it will ever save - makes it hard to fathom. It appears that it will create little or no meaningful local employment and furthermore the import of panels & batteries from China (with known reputation for the use of slave labour in this industry production) again does not convince me there is much good in the project."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Joanne Ward
"I have become extremely concerned about this development for the following reasons: 1/ Feel this will affect wildlife and birds due to the reduction in open fields 2/ The roads around Isleham are narrow and already full of pot holes so heavy vehicles will make it a lot worse 3/ Concerned about the noise from the battery banks and increased fire risks 4/ We run an AirB&B Lodge on Isleham Marina and we fear this ugly development will affect our business."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Fleet
"Hi there. First of all i would like to make it clear that i am not against solar and wind power to provide all of us with a sustainable power source moving forward. The reasons i am against this particular project are. 1. The land being proposed for this project is grade 1 agricultural food producing land which due to climate change and the rapidly changing World security situation we are going to require for our food supply on our small Island. Once this land is taken out of food production it will be many years if ever before this could be used to feed us again. 2.I am not a NIMBY but there are many areas in uk that have less valuable land and are less populated where this project could be a success for all parties. 3.As an engineer of many years i am very concerned about the power storage facilities. Any storage of power can have a mind of its own, despite high precautions to prevent a disaster. Being so close populations in our village and neighbouring villages it does give me great concern not just for explosive risk but all pollution from fire. Batteries by their nature are alive!!! Thank you for allowing me to voice my concerns. john fleet."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jonathan Keith Lomas
"The marketing from Sunnica includes: Sunnica Energy Farm is being brought forward by Sunnica Limited – a joint venture between two established solar developers, Tribus Energy and PS Renewables. Together, the Scheme partners have assembled an experienced team with a strong track record of delivering high quality solar and energy storage developments. In fact, Sunnica Ltd is technically insolvent £(423,669) with its level of insolvency increasing every year. Tribus Energy has minimal assets and PS Renewables does not trade and has total assets of just £2. Sunnica Farm Ltd, Sunnica Energy Ltd, and Sunnica Energy Farm Ltd are all dormant companies with total assets of just £1 each. This information is from their latest filings at Companies House and these companies are linked by two common directors and shareholders:[Redacted] . This ‘joint venture’ is simply the same people. Financial justification and having the financing in place may not be required for a planning application, but it is genuinely concerning that no proof of provision of decommissioning and clear up has been submitted. Using Sunnica’s own marketing information, that is likely to cost into £hundreds of millions. These companies clearly have nowhere near the wherewithal to finance a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (“NSIP”). Even if they could arrange to borrow £hundreds of millions or £billions they would still have no net assets, apart from planning permission, just the loans and large new debt. The project mentions decommissioning in ‘at least 40 years’ but that assumes the companies involved remain afloat, in existence and with the funds (£hundreds of millions) and intent to fully decommission and clear up the massive sites – 2,792 acres to clear. Nothing on this scale has ever been endeavoured or achieved in the UK. Such decommissioning may not be in 40+ years but anytime from launch onwards as the scheme, and companies behind it, could easily fail. Insolvent companies cannot clear up sites. Clear up costs are far too big for Councils’ budgets so unless the Government is prepared to underwrite the entire scheme from day one there is a good chance of an absolute ecological and financial disaster, unprecedented in the UK with a scheme purporting to be a green initiative. There is an argument for a reduction in scale to facilitate approval of the scheme. However, the sums involved are so large that even if the scheme were reduced by, say, three quarters the decommissioning and clear up which will be required, although no-one knows when, would still be way out of the reach of the landowners and Council budgets. It would still require Government underwriting to ensure no disaster. Private enterprise could finance the clear up but, for certainty, that would require £hundreds of millions to be deposited upfront in Escrow and left there potentially for many decades. That is unrealistic, hence the responsibility being back on the Government. If the scheme is approved, without Government underwriting there is significant risk of a massive disaster."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julian Bryers
"Mitigation of the visual impact of the scheme's permanent elements during construction, operation & decommissioning phases (especially viewed from locations adjacent to the scheme's outer or intra-highway boundaries). Designation of permitted days/hours of scheme construction and decommissioning to control disruption to local communities caused by on-site noise and scheme-related traffic congestion. Audible sound from scheme permanent installations and its maintenance causing nuisance/discomfort during the operation phase. Light pollution from within the scheme (especially at night) causing nuisance/discomfort during its construction, operation & decommissioning phases. Designation of prescribed routes for scheme-related heavy goods vehicle movements during its construction, operation & decommissioning phases to dilute the noise, exhaust emissions and traffic congestion so caused. Targeted improvements to the local road network (including new minor roads) with the potential to cost-effectively divert much scheme traffic (both heavy goods delivery vehicles and workers' light private vehicles) away from habited areas during its during construction, operation & decommissioning phases."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julie Hobbs
"La Hogue Farm Shop & Cafe is located immediately adjacent to one of the proposed large areas of solar panels and battery storage units which form part of the Sunnica Energy Farm proposal. We object to the Sunnica Energy Farm scheme for the following reasons:- 1. During the construction phase of the energy farm (which will last approximately 2 years) there will be a huge number of vehicle movements down the very narrow access road which leads to the business. This will be incredibly dangerous for both staff and customers trying to reach the farm shop & café. 2. We believe that the inconvenience caused by the construction phase of the scheme will deter customers from visiting the farm shop & café and will have a major adverse impact on turnover and profit of the business 3. We are very concerned and frightened by the proximity of the proposed battery storage units (only one field away from our boundary) and the potential for these to catch fire and pollute the local area 4. The beautiful vista from the café is something that our customers enjoy hugely and this will be destroyed by the Sunnica Energy Farm. This will further put customers off visiting the business and have a detrimental impact on turnover and profit. This will potentially lead to a situation where some staff jobs are lost due to the business becoming significantly quieter. 5. Ground mounted U.K. solar energy generation is a grossly inefficient way of generating energy and completely insignificant in contributing to U.K. power generation capacity. It is a waste of good productive agricultural land."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lucinda Wright
"Objection to the scheme; No local benefit Loss of habitat for over 100 species 100 acres of concrete Loss of good agricultural land and no guarantee the land will be returned to agriculture after 40 years Scheme will make the land 'brownfield site' ripe for development Huge carbon footprint Will create more carbon footprint in it's lifetime than it will ever save"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Malcolm Avis
"I am a resident of Burwell. I have mixed views as to the benefits and downsides of solar farms. I acknowledge that the pursuit of green energy is a necessary and worthy endeavor. Its implementation does by necessity, however, need to be balanced against the potential environmental impacts. I do wonder about the scale and locations of this project. • They appear to occupy arable farmlands which, in themselves, provide habitats for biodiversity. • Furthermore, I understand that much of the hardware is probably to be sourced from China, which is neither beneficial for the project’s carbon footprint, nor for the UK economy. • Of particular concern to me is the size a proposed 500MW BESS facility. Though rare, BESS facilities are subject to catching fire due to thermal runaway. BESS fires are notoriously difficult to extinguish. Conventional attempts to deal with them results in the run off of toxic compounds which ultimately find their way into watercourses (a watercourse runs alongside the proposed facility and has been the home of nesting swans for many years). More worryingly is that such fires emit gases such as hydrogen fluoride, which is a particularly noxious and corrosive acid and to which exposure may lead to insidious ill health (I write as a Chartered Chemist). In addition to the hazards posed to firefighters, I note that the location of the proposed BESS facility is in the proximity and southwest of Burwell so that, given the generally prevailing wind, any plume and outfall arising from such a fire is likely to fall directly upon the village. In conclusion, I am opposed to the size and location of this project. Regards Malcolm Avis"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Andrew Clark
"I am a local resident and have lived in the area all my life. I am not adverse to solar energy however I do not want to live in an area with so much solar plant. This I feel will devalue my property. I enjoy the countryside by walking with my family and pets. The area has much wildlife, flora and fauna which i feel will be affected. Larger vertebrates such as deer will not be able to freely roam. This ground is very sandy and important habitat to stone curlew, lapwings, grey hare etc."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Cheryl Bampton
"Whilst I agree that we need ‘green energy sources’, I feel that the size of the Sunnica proposal is just too vast. They are planning to use areas that would be good agricultural land which we may well need in future times if not now. The cost of producing the panels, batteries and ancillary equipment must also be taken into account, not only monetary but the use of resources needed to make and install the equipment and not forgetting the cost of disposal after, I believe 25 years! At the last meeting I attended this had not been taken into account and Sunnica refused to attend to answer questions from the local community. The batteries required, I feel, are to close to residential areas. How would they get these huge batteries/panels to the sites through the narrow roads they would need to use without causing major disruption to neighbouring residents."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Jennifer White
"Encouragement is given by water authorities to plant grass instead of concreting over gardens yet the aim here is to concrete over vast swathes of the countryside. The water table in these areas will not benefit at all from this project. After the project is finished will the land be returned to its first and natural state? I think not. One gain (if it is a gain)wipes out another. Serious concerns over the battery station. Way too big and too close to houses and a stud farm. If this went ahead and there was a fire the damage done to the health of the residents in the area, the surrounding fauna and flora and the atmosphere would be colossal. As Sunnica hasn't built anything of this size before are they the right people now? This is good soil for growing vegetables and other crops. In view of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and wheat being one of the things we buy from Russia, should we not be more independent and be self-sufficient in all things agricultural like we used to be, the carbon footprint suffers all round in Sunnica's project. Lastly this is all about profit in the long run for Sunnica at the expense of the inhabitants and the land, with house owners losing on every count."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sara Beckett
"Suffolk is an arable county providing crops and land to raise animals for food both for human and animals alike ~ it is part of the food chain which requires natural resources warmth and moisture not necessarily sunlight as would be the case for this solar farm . Raising the issue of benefit against dis-benefit. This wonderful Suffolk land provides food to the county and country for our own use. This does not involve air freight therefore sustainable and environmentally friendly. It does not make sense to use this rich arable land to grow power. There are other ways in which to make power without destroying land which grows food. In specific terms to the location of this proposal it is just wrong. The area is flat (a characteristic of the Suffolk landscape) and these units will be seen for miles dominating the landscape. In specific terms in relation to Newmarket, which is the historic home of horse racing an industry that is so important to the county, country and the world. The dominance of this project competing in the same vicinity could destroy that industry with associated investment and employment. Suffolk in general and Newmarket specifically is important to Tourism based around the horse racing industry and landscape. People will not want to visit a solar farm built on ancient historic land such as the Limekilns unchanged for centuries which would irreversibly be lost if replaced by an industrial development of this nature. Consultation has been sparse, details of the plan have not been readily available, the scale of the project would cause harm for generations to come. The term of the project being 40 years would not meet the long term future requirement of the energy for this country to satisfy multiple groups. There are other means and ways that have been and are being explored. The quality of the assessments are not sound lacking detail and evidence much without mitigation. Methodology of transport assessments raise concerns and a lack of understanding of the area and associated road networking Technology progresses at speed and to lock this fertile land for 40 years is absurd. It is without doubt that technology will supersede these plans meaning that the land would quickly be classified as brownfield, possibly allowing a change of use and the loss of our arable farming and all that it produces to sustain us would be lost for ever. You cannot grow money."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sean McGinty
"- Inappropriate size close to rural village homes. - No direct local benefit. - Concern this rioritising greenfield sight for convenience and economy of construction over brownfield sites. - Concern for Sunnica's lack of experience with this size of project. - Concern over battery safety and local fire brigade ability to cope with battery fire. - Has the impact on the wellbeing of the villagers been considered? - How easily will site be returned to agriculture or will it be considered a brownfield site prime for housing? - Concern for removing farmland from production increasing UK dependence on imported food and the associated increase in carbon emissions. - Concern carbon footprint of whole project life cycle will actually be carbon positive."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alan Warwick
"1. Sunnica do not appear to have carried out this type of project previously. 2. Safety risks could ensue due to inexperience. 3. Local disruption due to extended timescale of construction due to inexperience. 4. Destruction of fine quality arable land. 5. Possible fires in battery storage boxes. Difficult to extinguish. 6. Loss of habitat for wildlife. 7. Loss of visual amenity - it will look horrible!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anne Low
"I agree with the sunnica development. We need enviromental friendly electric."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Robertson
"As residents of Isleham Marina we will be heavily impacted by this development. We regularly walk along the river bank where the solar farm will be constructed. There is a massive quantity of wild life that will be very badly affected by this development. It will also affect marine life in the river Lark. Our own environment will be dramatically affected by noise and light pollution. Whilst in principle we agree with green energy this development sacrifices too much of a presently very pleasant environment also we feel that solar panels should be on factory and other types of roofs rather than on productive farmland."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Glenda Preece on behalf of Diane Bovingdon
"I am mainly worried about three things. The wild life. I see an awful lot of creatures since I moved up here, it is a beautiful place that would be spoiled by such a eyesore. Food production. I am worried that we will lose so much land when there is a shortage of food in this country. We will have to import more than we do at the moment, when we are trying to reduce food imports. Also there is no guarantee that the electricity produced will benefit the local area. It will simply be sold to the grid. It is just a money making scam."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Edward Dunlop
"I am objecting to this application on the following grounds: this scheme is far far far too big in my opinion and as a local racehorse trainer and resident for the last 35 years it will greatly affect my business and have dire effect on at least 7 local villages and countless businesses. On top of this the view from the Limekilns will be virtually destroyed. A huge amount of farm land of various types will be removed from circulation along with the habitation involved with this. I am certainly not against solar schemes but not on this scale and surely a less important site could be found. Newmarket is renowned as the leading Racing centre in the world and it must be CHERISHED AND PROTECTED FOR EVERYONES FUTURE."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Francesca Queniart
"I am against the building of this energy farm. I believe that the farm land should be kept and used as such rather than turning it into a solar farm. I have grave concerns about the building of such a large farm so close to housing and schools- the fire risk that it represents as well as blighting a beautiful landscape. Whilst we can agree cleaner energy is necessary, the harm that this will cause the environment given the haulage needed as well as storing the batteries I think it is not worth it. I am a parent and have lived here for more than a decade and I really cannot emphasise the harm and degregation this project will bring to Suffolk. If the MPs, and all the local communities are against it, we must be listened to as our concerns are valid. Do not damage our countryside by allowing Sunnica to build this energy farm. We need farm land to grow produce for local people. Keep the land as it is."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Georgina Long
"I am very concerned about this proposed development on agricultural land. This land should be protected for environmental reasons and protected for growing food."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Janet Griffiths
"I disagree with any industrialisation of our countryside"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Joanna Mason
"I am concerned about: . the size of the project . no local benefit . the safety and size of the BESS . the removal of land for growing food . the huge carbon footprint of the project . the huge profits that do not benefit this country or the local area . the danger of health risks to those with homes near the site . the loss of valuable countryside"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Bell
"I believe there are many reasons why Sunnica must be stopped. First of all, all the panels are imported and once they are used they are not going to be recycled they will just be creating more waste which is hardly environmentally friendly. To use up 2,500 acres is completely butchering the countryside, they are an eye sore at best and surely the land will be best used either re-wilded or producing food for the nation. There is no guarantee that the land will be suitable for agricultural purposes in years to come when the solar panels are past their sell-by date. From a personal point of view, some of the panels run adjacent to the gallops where racehorses are trained and another one of the sites also run parallel to a historic golf course at Worlington which will definitely lesser the experience for those who enjoy playing golf and play at that course. The site is also next door to the British Racing School which is the foremost provider and trainer of future riding talent for the racing industry."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Jeanne Winter
"I moved to the village in 2011 after living in London for the first [Redacted] of my life. This move was made to experience a more peaceful and rural lifestyle. I believe the scale of this proposal to be completely unacceptable and will greatly impact our local community. It will be a complete eyesore. I enjoy the rural views of green fields and growing crops and of course the varied wildlife. I believe we need the fields to remain for agriculture purposes, to meet the needs of the nation and I resent buying produce from foreign countries which clearly adds to the purchase costs and pollution, at time of great need to reduce our carbon footprint. I believe that this development will significantly affect the local wildlife including Muntjac deer which I see regularly in my garden. The development would be less than 400m from our village conservation area and I believe that the risk of uncontrolled fire from the associated batteries is completely unacceptable. I believe that the construction traffic will severely impact on our village for years to come and the decommissioning of the panels and equipment has not been accurately described in the application and that it will negatively affect future generations for years to come."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Glenda Preece on behalf of Pauline Wilkes
"The land where the project would use, provides 37% of the fruit and vegetables that we eat in this country. East Anglia is known as the bread basket of Britain, and it provides one third of all the potatoes we eat in this country. We need the food grown in this country otherwise we ill have to import it, raising our carbon footprint. There is no guarantee that even after 40 years this land will be fit for agricultural use. We will lose jobs in farming and industry related to farming. I have seen several reports of the batteries that will be used, exploding, putting noxious fumes into the air, dangerous to all the villages around."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rebecca Dunlop
"I would like to voice my opposition to this proposal. I have lived in and around Newmarket for my entire life and i am appalled by the size and scale of this proposal. I live in Newmarket and my husband trains horses here, the views from the gallops will be destroyed by glass, concrete and security fencing. The villages of Snailwell, Chippenham, Freckenham to name a few will be severely affected by the huge number of solar panels and battery storage compounds which will be situated very close to people's houses and gardens. Not only will this be an eyesore but i am very worried about the danger of the batteries catching fire and creating dangerous gases and risk to human life. I am also concerned by the loss of all the greenfield land and good quality farmland. Surely it is better for us to have locally produced fruit and vegetables rather than flying them in from other countries, this is not a green solution! I like to be able to go to a local market or farmshop for my produce, how is this going to be possible if we use all our farmland up for solar panels! The Sunnica proposal is not green, it will create more carbon than it ever saves, flying solar panels in from China and using huge number of trucks to transport them. There is no guarantee that the land will ever be returned to its former agricultural use after the 40 years and will probably then be developed into buildings and houses. Please, please do not destroy our area with this terrifying totally un-carbon zero proposal!!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Susan Lemmon
"While appreciating that we need to look to provide our country with a sustainable form of energy. I feel that this development is far too large and detrimental to the countryside, of which a large proportion of the land is food producing. Given that there are swathes of brown site areas in the UK which are standing doing nothing, surely it would be more beneficial to everyone for these to be used as solar energy producing places rather than areas that infringe on population and farming. Once the countryside has been lost to this development, the outcome in the future will be that it will be replaced with yet more housing developments."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anne Shneerson
"1.I think it is wrong to surrender good arable land to this project as food independence for the UK is as important as energy independence.Solar panels should be erected on brown field sites & on new builds -not on good farming land. 2.Importing food from abroad increases our energy use & carbon footprint. 3.How much energy will be used to build & maintain this project? 4. Destruction of countryside & wild habitats-bad for the environment& wildlife. 5.Hazards of battery leakage into the soil causing pollution of the soil & waterways making it unsuitable for farming use in the future. Potential hazards & dangers to life from possible battery fires. 6.I understand the need for increasing our electricity from renewable energy sources but a solar panel park of this size & on this location would cause overwhelming devastation to the local landscape & area , diminish our food independence , & create potential health hazards . There must be far more suitable sites for such a large project other than on the proposed site."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Carolyn
"i am very concerned as a resident of red lodge about this development going ahead. i do not wish to live close to the sub station as this may pose a risk to myself and my family. this a small village community and it will adversely affect us all. I also work at the village school and oppose the development as may cause risk to the staff and students there. the amount of traffic caused in the construction of this solar site will have a huge impact on the air quality and the amount of prime agricultural land ripped up to facilitate this is wrong. we should be aiming to increase crop productivity in this region and using poor land elsewhere for renewal energy plants. low food miles is what we need, and this is not going to aid this."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Deborah Saward Arav
"* The scale of this project is unprecedented and will cause enormous disruption to the local region during construction. * The technology being installed has not been tested on this large a scale and so cannot be reasonably said to be safe. * The company proposing to build this installation has no experience with projects this large, and so cannot be reasonably expected to have anticipated or planned for things going wrong, during construction and afterwards. * The planned construction is not sympathetic to regional plans for rewilding and improved habitats for nature, which are urgently needed to mitigate the climate crisis. It is entirely possible to develop solar farms that allow farming or wildflower meadows under the panels. This is not being considered here - the many, many acres of land below the panels will be barren and uninhabitable by pollinators and other wildlife. * The site will have an enormous carbon footprint with the import of solar panels, acres of concrete being laid and the removal of local trees, hedging and wildflower verges. There are no, or vastly inadequate, plans to offset this carbon footprint through rewilding or sympathetic planting on the sites. * No local jobs will be created. But local jobs will be taken away as agricultural land is repurposed. * Various officials who have viewed the plans for the development have made it clear that these plans are lacking in sufficient detail, are deeply flawed in several areas, and that the developers are not applying due care and diligence as they aim to change a large portion of East Anglia permanently. Fertile agricultural land will be changed to brownfield, with no benefit but causing damage and disruption for the human and the wildlife residents of the area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Paul Silverston
"May I start this submission by saying that I am in favour of alternative energy sources, including solar power. My objection to the Sunnica project is based on the following points: 1. The size of the development, as this will have a significant impact on local communities, agricultural land and the landscape. I would not object to a smaller development. 2. I believe that there are better options available for siting solar panels, such as MOD land and on the roof space of large industrial units in retail parks, which would have no impact on local communities, agricultural land and the landscape. 3. At a time when we are going to need to increase food production, particularly wheat production, due to the war in Ukraine, we should not be taking 2,500 acres of agricultural land out of production. 4. There is an existing solar farm between the villages of Burwell and Exning, on the Exning Estate. This Estate is on the market and it would make far more financial and logistical sense for the new solar farm to be sited around the existing solar farm, as it would have less impact on local communities and be closer for connection to the national grid, which would avoid compulsory purchase orders on land between the proposed Sunnica development and the hub at Burwell. However, I feel strongly that the time has come for the government to adopt a more joined-up approach to the development of solar power in the UK, in terms of siting these developments in a way that does not take agricultural land out of production and makes use of existing infrastructure."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Emma Head
"That the size of the site is too large and consumes farmland The amount of traffic required to come through the villages during the lengthy construction stage would be detrimental to all residents, quality of roads (evidenced from the bridge repairs work on a142 junction where road surface quality is horrendous), major disruptions to traffic, added pollution from estimated hundreds/thousands extra vehicles each day That there are viable alternatives that do not use farmland if on smaller scale eg Turners roof top"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Graham Raymond Bradbeer
"1. First I strongly object to the building of this solar farm on land near to my home in the village of Red Lodge. I say NO to this project. 2. The BESS will be situated approximately 1000 meters from my home and if it were to catch fire we would not survive. 3. The site is close to an SSSI here in Red Lodge. 4. My home that I have paid for, as inheritance for my children will be devalued. 5. It is going to take up a great deal of much need farm land for food production. 6. There will traffic chaos in and around our villages for months and years to come. 7. We will have no benefits from this project only hardships while another Country rakes in the profits of an ill thought out scheme. 8. With the proposed building of another Nuclear plant here in Suffolk why do we need a project of this size in this rural area like ours, when there are lost of Brown Field sites to be built on. 9. Yes we need renewable energy, but this project is far, far to big in an area with such a large population. Thank You. G.R.Bradbeer."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ian Hawkes
"Potential fires and release of poisonous gases to all that live in the area. Huge amounts of good agricultural land not able to be used. 77 acres of battery storage compounds close to Red Lodge. Hundreds of HGV vehicles clogging up the village and surrounding area affecting everyday life for people"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jill Coleman
"The Sunnica proposals do not constitute a good solar power project, and I object to them for these reasons: The proposed energy farm is on a horrifically industrial scale, and would be significantly larger than any other operational plant of its kind in the UK. Its poor scheme design and huge carbon footprint are alarming to me and many other local residents. The losses would outweigh the gains. The greenfield land which would be taken is good quality irrigated vegetable growing farmland (providing habitats for hundreds of species) and there is no guarantee that this land would ever again be returned to agricultural use. Of course we need sustainable energy, but we also need food. The UK is only 64% self-sufficient in food. The battery energy storage compounds proposed are on a massive scale. Sunnica has no experience of building BESS on this scale, and the risks are alarming. They would be close to local housing, which would be subject to lethal poisonous gases in the event of a fire. I am very worried about this. The scheme does not have ‘green’ credentials, as it would create more carbon in its lifetime than it ever would save. The profits from the Energy Farm, should it go ahead, will not even remain in the UK, as Sunnica’s owners are in Spain, and there will be little or no benefit to local people - no local employment, just a ruined landscape, housing blight and, most importantly, major and ongoing environmental concerns."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Collyer
"It does not make sense to take such good arable land out of production, at the very time that we should be attempting to increase home-grown crops. This land should be kept in food, and energy, production. Solar panels should be sited on less productive land of which there is plenty. Further, I wish to remain living in a rural community in the English countryside not surrounded by industrial installations which cannot support current levels of indigenous flora and fauna."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Shneerson
"I object to this proposal for the following reasons: 1. Over its lifetime it will increase not decrease our dependency on other fuels. The energy costs to set it up are massive, with batteries and panels being imported from China, on top of which are the decommissioning energy usages at the end of its life. Added to these are the energy costs of importing the food that would otherwise have been grown here on this land. 2. Loss of food security for the UK. This is good quality vegetable growing land which has been productive for many years. We are seeing what the loss of energy security is doing to this country at present and should avoid Sunnica taking us down the same road with food. 3. Loss of biodiversity. It is bizarre of Sunnica to claim the opposite. This project is anti the preservation of our ecosystem. 4. Health dangers. The battery energy storage compounds will be close to human habitation and will release poisonous gases if they catch fire. People will die from this predictable risk, which on the precautionary principle, should not be undertaken."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Louise Andreasen
"MY OBJECTIONS TO THE PROPOSED SUNNICA SOLA FARM EAST ANGLIA I appreciate that there is a need for a more greener energy system but must object for the following reasons. 1: The scale of the development is huge 2,792acres, the average solar farm is 75/100 acres. this is of an industrial size in close proximity of local villages. we feel surrounded by Solar panels. with 15 MILES of cable to connect to Burwell substation. can this really be cost and energy officiant. 2: THIS IS GOOD PRODUCTIVE AGRICULTURAL LAND which will be taken out of use for at least 40 years. At a time when we should be looking to produce more food of our own and reduce the food miles. What happens at the end of the 40 years, who will clear it all away? We have no guarantee that Sunnica will be around by then. This will be very costly and who will want redundant solar panels and Lithium batteries. the land owners may very well be left with a Big clean up job before it can if ever be productive agricultural farm land again. I fear that it will just become permanent light industrial land. 3: 78 ACRES OF LITHIUM BATTERIES. this type of batteries has been proved to be highly susceptible to thermal runaway. causing fires and explosions. causing inevitable contamination of both ground and ground water supple. These batteries have been banded in America after causing major fires. Also they caused a large fire at a site in Liverpool. 4: THE IMPACT ON WILDLIFE, this would be enormous destroying wildlife corridors for feeding and nesting habitats. once they have gone , they may not survive and we will be left will a barren countryside. surrounded with a 2 1/2 meter wire fence and any new planting will take some 15 years to make an impact on the visual appearance on the fencing . so leaving the panels clearly visible for many years. 5: IMPACT ON LOCAL VILLAGES (a) loss of country side, replaced with unsightly view of large sola panels. (b) 2 years of construction work on narrow country lanes. and 15 miles of cable to connect at Burwell. (c) reduction in property values (d) no guarantee that the site will be returned to agricultural land so leaving us with a very large industrial area. I"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Martin Hopkins
"I Am against this plan because it will ruin the area permanently at the size proposed it is to large and looks shoehorned into the land that can be acquired rather than an ideal set up. Also I am very concerned about the fire risk of the battery storage sites with the potential for a major disaster being ignored these sites have been banned in some parts of America this may be a rural area but many people live here and a fire could poison the land around"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Martin Swaffer
"I wholeheartedly believe that this application must be denied. For the following reasons- It is too large for this area being much to far from the Burwell sub station. The disruption caused by the excessive cabling required underground is wholly damaging and disruptive for our area. This application will severely reduce the value of everyones homes in our area(s) I believe it presents a serious danger to nearby low flying military aircraft from Mildenhall and Lakenheath due to possible upward sunlight reflections. The land is of a too high grade to lose and should be kept for local sustainable farming. No one supports this application unless they stand to make money from their land."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michelle Collen
"I am objecting Sunnica for various reasons explained below: - This will create a huge carbon footprint & we should be aiming for zero carbon, not creating more - We have an abundance of wildlife in the area which will be forced out due to the mass amount of land being used - We are an area that has lots of farmland & as a community we all like to help our local community buy buying local. By building on this land you will be directly effecting the lives of hundreds of local producers. - I choose to live in this area because of the landscapes, having this amount of solar panels will ruin our 'countryside' * therefore decrease the value of our homes"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mitch Doyle
"-scheme is too big and disproportionately affects a few small villages -consultation has been poorly conducted -no democratic debate - concerns expressed by the people who will be most affected are treated with contempt -adverse impact on wildlife, countryside and local communities(loss of amenities and enjoyment of the country life, mental health, loss of property value..) is being ignored -no firm commitment to putting in place mitigating measures - vague promises about eventual decommissioning -loss of valuable agricultural land -threat to the racing and breeding industry in and around Newmarket. -dangers associated with big batteries near villages"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nicholas Driver
"I have lived and farmed in Burwell for the last 25yrs and my family have farmed a lot longer here. With what is going on in the world at the moment I feel we need to keep all the farmland we can to produce our own food. I agree we need cheap energy but to commit good farmland for a long period of years which will be un-productive for the food sector is not acceptable. Also the panels will be an eyesore on our landscape."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Phyllis Daly
"The loss of prime land which will reduce our ability to become more self sufficient The loss of wildlife due to destruction of habitat. The risk of Li-ion BESS catching fire and the fallout affecting people/homes nearby."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Evelyn Graham on behalf of Raymond Graham
"Dangerous batteries banned in other countries. Mostly south winds . East end of isleham will be under toxic clouds if they fire. Loss of good agricultural food growing land more important now that there will be a loss of wheat from Russia and Ukraine Destruction of wildlife while lorries and large plant take months to install the panels and batteries. CPOs on food growing land by Sunnica who will make their money and run. What happens to the panels in years to come as they wear out or research provides other ways of producing energy. Sunnica not interested only in inflicting upheaval to people, their lives and wildlife ."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Robert Dorman
"1.I must object to this project which will industrialise lovely countryside. It really is on a massive scale 2.I walk many of the footpaths with family and members of the local Ramblers. It is so uplifting and makes me feel so much better-good for ones mental health. 3.There is already a large area of solar panels around Burwell, so I feel the area has done its bit 4.There will be so much good agricultural land lost, and this land produces a lot of food. Its loss will increase further the amount of food the UK imports. 5.I am a supporter of solar energy and have had my own solar panels on my roof over 10 years. 6.However this project is wrong in so many ways."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Roger Varian
"The proposed Sunnica development just outside of Newmarket is an egregious plan that falls short in many ways, which are outlined in detail below. While we understand the need to develop alternative, sustainable energy sources, this development would not deliver that aim in a satisfactory manner. • Size To construct a sprawling development over four separate sites, encompassing nearly 3,000 acres, is palpably wrong. Creating the largest installation of its kind and affecting not one, but four rural areas seems short-sighted and poorly thought out. There will be myriad issues associated with installing such a large farm, and many of these problems are not satisfactorily answered by Sunnica’s proposal. A typical solar farm is around 100 acres, but this installation is on an industrial scale. Again, we understand the desire for such developments, but not of this size. • Use of land Appropriating 3,000 acres of arable land in one stroke for solar energy is misguided. Why is land that is already serving an excellent purpose in the production of crops being taken out of commission for 40 years, and then returned in a likely damaged state. Given the increasing pressure to provide locally-grown produce which in turn reduces carbon emissions, any potential gains made from the solar energy could easily be lost by the costs associated with needing to produce or source crops that could have been grown instead. The arable land in question is being used to produce cereals and vegetables. Should crops then need to be sourced from elsewhere, the associated carbon footprint would grow, which seems directly at odds with the desire for a carbon neutral footprint. Has Sunnica contemplated finding non-arable land for the development? • Damage to Newmarket and the racing industry Some of the proposed sites, notably the Snailwell site, will have an adverse impact on the racing industry within Newmarket. The Snailwell site would border training grounds such as the Limekilns and Railwayland as well as Godolphin’s Chippenham Hill facility. These areas are in use on a daily basis. To have industrial work and the associated heavy machinery in such close proximity to racehorses is a recipe for disaster. The racing industry is worth over £4 billion to the economy annually, while also supporting tens of thousands of jobs. Situating a huge solar farm next to the preeminent training centre in the country could easily have major financial implications for the industry. • Damage to local infrastructure As well as the negative effect the development would have on the proposed sites, to install such a large-scale project would also come at substantial cost to the local infrastructure. Heavy machinery and the associated workforce required operating on a daily basis for months, if not years, will put even more strain on a region already struggling to cope. The development will also categorically change peaceful, rural areas into industrialised zones. This will affect house prices, the local economy and local industry. There is also the considerable cost to local wildlife, with habitats for several species set to be impacted if not destroyed. • Altering the natural landscape Part of Newmarket, and the wider Suffolk/Cambridgeshire area’s appeal is its rural landscape and natural beauty. Such a sprawling site promises to negatively impact several areas. It is too intrusive and needs to be condensed to more manageable proportions. While there is an acknowledgement of screening being installed to help hide the farm, this will not be an overnight fix, and will instead take years according to the Sunnica proposal. • Concerns over use of Lithium-ion batteries There have been instances of the Lithium-ion batteries used to store the solar energy combusting. While these have been localised instances, would the use of such batteries on a much larger scale increase the risk of fire? Again, these fears are not addressed in Sunnica’s proposal."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sandra Murphy
"I wish to object to the above planning application for the following reasons: 1. Burwell already has a number of operational solar farms with more in the pipeline. The 12 metre high substation extension will be visible from my home. 2. The area to be covered is agricultural farmland and the UK cannot afford to loose any further greenfield land 3. The proposed 3 battery energy storage compounds are far too close to residential homes. 4. It will provide no meaningful local employment, the contractors are a Yorkshire company and Sunnica's spanish owners will make huge profits. 5. More carbon will be created in its lifetime than it ever saves."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Susan Swaffer
"I wish to object to the Sunnica application/scheme for the following reasons. Firstly the land which they wish to cover is extremely good quality farm land, vital for food production which our country needs now more than ever to keep the carbon footprint down and being more self sufficient. Nothing infuriates me more than seeing vegetables and fruits being imported when this could and should be grown on our doorstep. This is a major point the government should be looking to pursue net carbon zero. Our land in this area drains superbly and grows first class crops, unlike some of the fenland which is now so waterlogged at certain times of the year making it impossible to farm. Covering our valuable land with alien looking panels will destroy this land forever, environmentally and visually. It will affect wildlife and cause unnecessary pollution during construction, also causing chaos and upheaval on local country roads which will struggle with heavy construction/plant vehicles. I also believe the massive concreted area’s and 2500 acres of panels will stop the natural flow of rainfall, causing flooding. Surrounding beautiful country villages with these panels is just wrong, not only does this put us all at risk if the worst were to happen with a fire (as has happened in Australia) causing lethal poisonous gases which cannot be put out, it will also devalue our homes which is something none of us can afford to happen. This is not a Green Project, it’s an ill thought out and preposterous project displaying zero empathy or thought on how this will affect the local communities in so many ways. A Green Project would be to cover the acres of industrial buildings/homes with solar panels, something we tried to do, but were ignored because we were in a conservation area, now we are faced with this? Please leave our land to do what it does best, producing food, feeding livestock, giving wildlife a home and a green space for the eye to see, promoting good mental health and well-being for all. If solar energy is our future put it in the right place and somewhere where it will benefit us all, not on our valued and much loved beautiful countryside ?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alan Bampton
"1. When I first saw the proposal document from Sunnica I didn’t realise the sheer size of the project. There was little detail in the document that didn’t use jargon. How can the proposal be carbon neutral when one takes in account the materials used to create the panels, batteries and ancillary equipment, which will almost certainly have to be imported from China; the thousands of HGV movements; the eventual dismantling and disposal of the site when the equipment is life expired? It is highly unlikely that Sunnica will still be around when this happens! 2. There will be tremendous disruption locally when Sunnica will have close roads when they lay cables from the panels to the Burwell sub station, which will also entail the crossing of a railway line and a river. 3. I know of people in the village who have received letters from Sunnica saying their properties would be at risk of compulsory purchase. This was not mentioned in the consultation document. 4. We already have numerous solar farms locally, plus others which are proposed. 5. There is also concern regarding the safety of the huge battery storage facilities proposed, which will be in close proximity to housing. It has been reported in the news recently that since 2012, more than 40 fires and explosions, which release toxic gases, have been reported at sites across the world. 6. Last autumn a meeting was arranged in Freckenham to discuss Sunnica’s proposal. It was attended by over 100 residents and 2 local MP’s. It was noted that representatives from Sunnica were not prepared to attend the meeting to give detailed information for the local population! 7. I am not against solar panels per se, as I had them installed on my own roof about ten years ago. However, I understand that if Sunnica’s proposal goes ahead it will be the largest solar farm in Europe. Why, if it is so essential to have more solar panels, are new houses locally being built without a solar panel in sight? This also goes for other new housing developments. 8. Since Brexit we are being encouraged to buy local produce to reduce “food mileage”. So why can Sunnica be allowed to cover so much farmland when we need to grow as much of our own produce? There has to be a balance to ensure we can continue to produce quality, sustainable food for the nation while also delivering on net zero ambition. This is especially so at the present time with the situation in Ukraine, involving two of the largest wheat producers in the world!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Carol C Cooper
"As a native of Suffolk I am raising my objections to the proposed Sunnica Solar installation for the following: * Suffolk is a beautiful, agricultural county supporting many families through employment and contributes to our national food supply which will be lost to future generations. As Britain is only 64% self sufficient in food production, with international supply chains being vulnerable, we can not afford to sacrifice this amount of high quality growing acreage to this project. * Agriculture is a mainstay in Suffolk's employment and the loss of jobs will raise our 3.5% (2021) unemployment rate, with few alternatives available for those who have skills in this area. * Roads are rural; narrow, winding, with few passing places - construction traffic will be damaging to the road structure and disruptive to daily life * After 40 years a brown site will be made making the whole site ripe for development rather than returning it to agriculture or nature - thus ruining the essence of this area of Suffolk. Our unique ecological system may never recover. * The risk of fire, use of vast amounts of concrete, and the huge carbon footprint mocks our Carbon Zero/Green policies * Where is the benefit to British/Suffolk economy? It appears building materials will be sourced from abroad, a Yorkshire company is building the structure and the Spanish Sunnica will profit from selling electricity made in Suffolk back to the UK generating huge profits for this company rather than the Suffolk residents. *The risk of fire in the battery storage, which can not be put out, puts residents at high risk through poisonous gases especially as these batteries will be placed close to homes. *Disruption through the building process will be huge, therefore devastating our daily life particularly in the small villages around the project."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Grassin
"2,500 acre solar and batterry plant is huge and potentially dangerous. too close to our homes. Value of our homeswill be affected. The lost of acres of nature. No local employment. We desperately need more services instead."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Charles Pilgrim
"To whom it may concern, I am extremely concerned of this application for the following reasons; Over 1,000,000 solar panels (2.5 m high), most likely imported from China Over 100 acres of concrete will be laid Over 30 miles of security fencing will be put up around the sites No meaningful local employment - no local benefit. Would be built by Smith Brothers Ltd (Yorkshire) Countryside lost for over 2 generations There is no guarantee the land can be returned to it's former agricultural use after 40 years The scheme area will become a 'brownfield site' after the project ends, making it ripe for development 15 miles of cabling to take the electricity to a new 12m high substation extension that will be built at Burwell Around 77 acres of battery energy storage compounds (BESS), separated into 3 sites, all close to homes With an output of 500 MW, the Sunnica BESS would be the current largest in the world. Sunnica Ltd has no experience of building BESS on this scale Li-ion BESS catch fire. When they do they cannot be put out. The fire creates poisonous gases which can be lethal in tiny amounts. Below image depicts a recent Li-ion BESS fire in Australia The huge BESS allow Sunnica to buy cheap electricity out of the grid (from renewable and non- renewable sources), store it in the BESS and sell it back to the grid when it is expensive. This creates huge profits for Sunnica's Spanish owners All of the greenfield land being taken by Sunnica is good quality irrigated vegetable growing farmland, which provides habitats for 100's of species We cannot afford to lose this land. The UK is only 64% self-sufficient in food Importing panels and batteries from China (known to use slave labour for some solar panel production), and the poor scheme design, means the scheme has a huge carbon footprint University analysis of the Sunnica scheme shows it cannot be 'green'. It will create more carbon in it's lifetime than it ever saves. Sunnica hinders our pursuit of Carbon Zero by 2050 If this industrial solar plant happens the value of our properties will be affected forever It is also worth noting that until there is a significant change in government policy ie all new properties are forced to have solar panels and/ or schemes to encourage solar panels on existing houses we should not be using good green field sites where we should be growing food for the nation. Solar panels schemes like this are a clear sign of poor thought through government policy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Clare MacGillivray
"- Industrialisation of vast area of farmland (nearly 3000 acres), meaning reduced land for growing food, in a country with a growing population to feed. - Enormous area of habitat loss for wildlife, ground nesting birds, insect and plant life - Devastating impact on local villages, with loss of rural environment, and long term disruption on already poor roads. - Contempt for the concerns of locals - Devastating mental health impacts on locals due to stress, loss of rural surroundings, loss of value to house prices. - Human environmental loss of walking paths and countryside - Cynical attempt by Sunnica to appear environmentally friendly, while really aiming to make huge profits using battery storage - Concerns over battery safety - Poor consultation, with Sunnica claiming the project will have "no significant impacts" on almost every area considered - Complete democratic deficit, with almost universal opposition by all villagers, Parish Councils, local Councils and MPs - Concern over impact to Newmarket as Racing Headquarters, and negatively impact on local businesses - The rights and wishes of the locals seem to have been completely disregarded."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Watson
"While, in general, I am in favour of projects which seek to provide green alternatives for generating energy, including the use of solar panels, I have three major concerns with this particular proposal. 1. The sheer size of the project. On a map, starting from Worlington/Barton Mills, I drew a line SW, roughly following the A11 to just beyond the point where the A11 joins the A14. From this point the pencil line turned NW to go just beyond the development near Snailwell and from here turning NE to go just beyond the development at Isleham/ West Row and finally SE back to Worlington/Barton Mills. This boundary line (approximately rectangular in shape) encloses an area which includes all the above villages as well as the additional villages of Chippenham and Freckenham and, of course, the sites of the proposed development. I estimate that the development in total occupies about 35% of the enclosed area. In my opinion, this proportion is far too large and represents a burden much too great to be borne by the affected villages. 2. Battery Energy Storage (BESS). I am also concerned with the total area (77 acres) devoted to the BESS compounds. In particular, these units have been known to catch fire and produce poisonous gases. Again, the sheer number of these units proposed (apparently making this the largest in the world) increases the probability that at least one will catch fire and threaten the nearby villages. 3. Agricultural Land. This is a particular area which is valuable for its agriculture and for its wildlife - both of which will be adversely affected by losing such a disproportionate amount to this huge development. It will impact not only food production for the region (which in itself is valuable for the reduction of our carbon footprint), but will also result in the loss of much wildlife habitat. Conclusion Fields of solar panels are not attractive. They impinge on the potential of the countryside to make people feel good. If such sites were to be spread around rather than compressed into a relatively small area, public opinion would be considerably less negative."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Frank Marshall
"The whole project is far too large and would decimate good arable land, It would be an eyesore and spoil our wonderful scenic area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Glenn French
"Opposed to Sunnica Solar Farm habitat:The scheme area will become a brownfield site no local benefit: built by a company not local to the area contaminating the land:100 acres of concrete will be laid greenfield land: good quality vegetable growing land will be lost, this land cannot and should not be lost Health and safety:potential fires and release of poisonous gas 1mile away from schools 2500 acres of good arable land lost. 77 acres of battery storage compounds close to Red Lodge. HGV vehichles clogging up the village and surrounding areas"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Graham Barry Houghton
"Much needed Good vegetable farmland will be lost to this project. Project is Far to close to schools and homes. Battery storage compounds a danger issue should they catch fire, to all people sited near to them, as the fires cannot be put out and poisonous gasses will be created which can be lethal. All sites far to close to schools and homes. Homes will be devalued. Many species living on the land will be lost. Huge carbon footprint."
Members of the Public/Businesses
J Dunand
"I object to the application by Sunnica Solar and Battery Plant on the following grounds: Loss of countryside in rich nutrient agricultural area, resulting in loss of employment and less self-sufficiency of UK food - this means the increased likelihood of importing food, thus increasing carbon footprint offsetting possible gains by Sunnica solar farm Loss of a diverse landscape for wildlife habitats in nature reserve areas Limited local employment benefit as it will be built by a Yorkshire company Complete change of countryside from rural landscape to solar panels, fencing & industrial noise and light The solar farm area will eventually become a brownfield site, unable to return to agricultural land due to concrete that will have to be laid over the 1000 of acres Concern at the size and that Sunnica has no experience of building BESS on such a large scale Concern over the safety of the local population regarding the Li -ion batteries that will be used in the BESS but which are banned in Arizona due to high fire risks Negative impact on local population:hugely increased heavy traffic on main highway (A14 is only major road link) and local roads, causing congestion around villages, increased diversions and even worse roads to drive on Negative impact on our house prices"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Liam MacGillivray
"- Vast scale of the project means industrialisation of huge area of farmland - Loss of nearly 3000 acres of excellent farmland, increasing need for food imports, completely at odds with carbon reduction targets due to increase in food miles - Huge area of habitat loss for wildlife, ground nesting birds, insect and plant life - Enormous impact on local villages, with loss of rural environment, long term disruption on already poor roads - Human environmental loss of walking paths and countryside - Cynical attempt by Sunnica to play the zero-carbon card, while really attempting to play electricity market using battery storage - Concerns over battery safety - Poor and deceitful consultation, with Sunnica claiming the project will have "no significant impacts" on almost every area considered - Complete democratic deficit, with almost universal opposition by all villagers, Parish Councils, local Councils and MPs - Concern over impact to Newmarket as Racing Headquarters, negatively impacting local businesses"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Martin Morgan
"The villages this Sunnica development is proposed to surround will lose their sole, the sheer magnitude of the sunnica proposal will ensure villages will lose their identity and spirit resulting in just being areas on a map surrounded by THE LARGEST SOLAR POWER PLANT IN THE UK. We are not against Green energy, there is already a Bio Digester plant on the edge of Worlington and a solar farm a few hundred meters away from that. This Sunnica proposal intends to cover vast swathes of valuable arable farmland, the villages and their residents’ will be guinea pigs in a project where there is no firm evidence what environmental and health effect something on this proposed scale of built so close to domestic dwellings will have. It’s not been done before and for a very good reason. HEALTH CONCERNS • Have the overhead power cables which pass over private property in Worlington been taken into consideration? • Sleep deprivation, due to proposed site arrival and departure times. • Deprivation of Quality Time relaxation due to proposed weekend construction working. Construction: 841 staff vehicles Working hours 7am to 7pm arriving at 6.00am and leaving at 8.00pm Monday to Saturday. Why do Saturdays have to be worked? Are any UK Bank Holidays going to be worked on? If the scale of this proposed power plant were to be reduced to a sensible size the necessity to work Saturdays would be alleviate. The construction site staff arrival at 6.00am are they going to switch their cars off and sit in their cars quietly until 7.00am, what are they going to do between 6.00am and 7.00am? The construction staff leaving site at 8pm are they going to sit in their cars at 7.00pm quietly and not start their cars until 8.00pm, what are they going to do between 7.00pm and 8.00pm? Normal working days are either between the hours of 8.00am till 4.00pm or 9am till 5.00pm, the highways network is well and truly capable in handling the proposed vehicle movements for site to accommodate arrival at 7.45am and site departure at or before 5.15 pm. This proposed site isn’t in the middle of Cambridge, vehicle movements would be travelling against the traffic at these times, isn’t it more the fact due to the vast size of this Sunnica proposed power plant the proposed construction staff’s proposed site arrival and departure times appear to be a necessity and the disruption to the lives of local residents backing onto the proposed power plant development are apparently not seen by Sunnica worthy of consideration. The fact this Sunnica proposed development has been selected to be built surrounding residential villages clearly shows Sunnica’s lack of care and consideration towards the local residents. Where else have the Sunnica’s selected partners Tribus Energy and PS Renewables with their strong track record of delivering high quality solar and energy storage developments built a solar farm to the same scale, in the proposed construction time, neighbouring the same amount of residential properties, or are we their Guiney pigs? When Sunnica introduced themselves to the local residents one of their prime reasons for selecting these proposed sites was the flat landscape. With flat landscapes noise travels clearly and quickly, dust from construction and construction vehicles, staff vehicle movement’s travels great distances, both will have a severe impact on my families quality of life. We don’t possess a Tumble Drier (they aren’t carbon neutral) we use a washing line in our garden (which is carbon neutral) with the proposed site attendance and working times are Sunnica going to guarantee our washing hung out on our washing line won’t ever have dust on it whilst their power plant is in the construction process? Aren’t local residents entitled to peaceful weekends without construction noise, without construction site and staff vehicles interruption? We live in the countryside for a reason, for peace and quiet, to relax and enjoy life at a slower pace, how does Sunnica propose we should do this whilst they are building their proposed power plant? Due to the scale of this proposed Sunnica power plant and the monumental task it creates to construct, extraordinary working hours are having to be proposed, clearly in this decision making process there is either a total lack of experience or perhaps it’s just sheer arrogance, NO consideration has been taken by Sunnica to allow local residents to the proposed construction sites any quality of life over weekends or the duration of the construction."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mehmet Ahmet
"Dear Sirs As a resident of Isleham I am making representation on aspects related to the Transport Assessment, Travel Plan and Construction Management Plan. Some key points following my initial review are set out below: 1) Mitigation Plans - these are not very clear of how they plan to mitigate the transport impact and I have concerns that justification is being made on flawed assessments and assumptions. For example the Transport Assessment states that no capacity assessments (junction modelling) has been undertaken. Considering there are already major pressures and with increases of traffic following COVID considered to now be higher I am concerned that a real understanding of the network in the area has been understood. How can measures for example in the travel plan be effective if it is not understood fully. 2) An attempt of undertaking a road safety audit was completed. For a scheme as significant as this I and also AECOM would have expected an audit to be completed by an independent organisation. Further guarantees are required in my opinion as to whether the audit recommendations are sound in both engineering and operational terms to mitigate any safety impact. 3) Visibility Splays – I question the use 2.4m in the X axis for calculating visibility splays. The construction management plan references that Visibility splays are based on Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) guidance for 60mph (100kph) roads showing a splay of 2.4m x 215m. From further reading of the DMRB it states that normally, an "X" distance of 4.5m shall be provided for a direct access where use in the design year is forecast not to exceed 500 AADT. The choice of set back distance is related to the forecast traffic using the access. For lightly used accesses, for example those serving a single dwelling or a small cul-de-sac of a half a dozen dwellings, the set back "X" may be reduced to 2.4m. The 2.4m set back relates to normally only one vehicle wishing to join the trunk road at one time. The 4.5m covers the situation where two light vehicles may want to accept the same gap in the trunk road traffic. Therefore further clarification is required by the applicant. 4) Engagement and public consultation – substandard statutory engagement with the public. The above points represents my initial observations. I would be happy to make an official submission on these points and others. Kind regards, Mehmet"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Moira Newell
"- The proposed industrial solar plant is *grossly* large and will swamp our rural villages and cause substantial detriment to our lives and there is zero, literally zero benefit to residents. - It will be of no benefit to the national grid and it will not achieve carbon neutral status in its lifetime and will in fact create MORE carbon than it saves. - Solar power is highly inefficient and this area of Suffolk/Cambs doesn't even have endless sunshine and even a power station of this scale will produce only a small amount of electricity that in no way justifies the loss of farming land and development of such enormous infrastructure - approx 1.1 million solar panels! It's horrific. - The land that will be taken is good quality crop farming land and currently successfully farmed. Once this power station is decommissioned in 40 years time the land will be useless for farming; let alone the loss of wildlife, fauna and flora and the landscape in this rural area will have been changed, irreparably, forever. - Sunnica has NO experience of a project like this and there are legitimate safety concerns regarding the lithium storage batteries - not just the sheer number and size of them, but their location so close to homes and schools and Sunnica has not adequately satisfied residents that they have extreme safety measures in place in the event of a fire. - This area has considerable heritage and beauty and the location of Sunnica will be very disruptive to the Newmarket gallops. - The sheer development and building of this solar power station will take around 2 years to complete and during that time, our roads will be clogged with hundred of HGV vehicles in a rural setting which already struggles with current traffic. Our villages simply can't cope with this onslaught, noise, road closures, loss of verges and loss of legitimate walking paths. - I fail to see how this Sunnica development is in any way "green" - solar panels will be constructed in China and shipped to the UK, the solar power emitted will be negligible, productive farming land will be destroyed and at the end of the 40 years and the solar panels can't even be recycled! How is any of this "green?" - I can not see how, in any shape or form, this power plant can be justified or proven to be a sensible national infrastructure scheme."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Judi Thurlow
"STORAGE BATRERIES I am very concerned about the danger of the batteries, used to store the electricity catching fire. We have seen electric cars catch fire, ships carrying these catch fire and sink and storage batteries themselves catch fire. We live in a very open landscape where a fire can spread quickly. These type of fires I am told are VERY difficult to put out. THE REMOVAL OF THE BATERIES AND SOLAR PANELS I have not found any mention of when the batteries and panels would be removed or who will be paying for the removal. If the company running the sight goes pop who pays? THE LAND USAGE At the moment we have agricultural land producing and adding to our economy. If this land were to be turned over to be used for solar panels what happens with the land after? It would not have the same fertility and usage. Would this lead to change of use as it is then a brown field sight? PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY We have been informed than all rights of way are to be closed while the work is being done, and from what has been shown some lost and a new one made. There are very few public footpaths and even fewer bridleways/byways in our area. What is everyone going to do walk/ride on the roads? TRAFFIC While the works are happening there will be a significant increase in very heavy traffic. Not ideal in a rural area with more people having to go for a walk, take their dogs out or exercise their horses on the road. An accident waiting to happen. SOLAR PANELS These will stick out like a sore thumb in our wonderful landscape. Sunnica have started to call this development a farm. It is not. Its an industrial power plant. From the information released by them it is not even going to produce sufficient electricity to merit being built."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nikoletta Keri
"I object against Sunnica Solar Farm for the following reasons -Red Lodge would need a robust evacuation plan due to the dangers/unknown impact of the BESS. -way too big ca.2500 acres (The Largest Solar Farm in EUROPE!!), loss off good agricultural land and greenfield land. The UK is only 64% self-sufficient in food; we cannot afford to lose land which is good quality irrigated vegetable growing farmland -destruction of wildlife and countryside that would never recover/return. The land is almost equal to Heathrow Airport!! -Red Lodge has very few ways out of the village on foot, only 2 or 3 across the A11 to the West & only a couple of public access routes to the East -lose all routes to the West due to the solar farm for 40 years & it will be the end of any connection with Worlington - over 100 acres of concrete will be laid and over 30 miles of security fencing will be put up around the sites - COUNTRYSIDE LOST for 2 generations - Sunnica has no experience of building BESS on this scale. Li-ion BESS are unstable and catch fire. When they do the fire cannot be put out. The fire create poisonous gases which can be lethal in tiny amounts. ONLY 300m away from The Pines Pre and Primary School in Red Lodge! - if this industrial solar plant happens the value of our properties will be affected forever; negative impact on the view of the landscape -all panels and batteries will be imported from China, and the scheme is poorly designed will have a huge carbon footprint. -no meaningful local employment; we wouldn't have any local benefit from this energy plant- would be built by a Yorkshire company -risk of ill health of residents of all ages - noise pollution, light pollution and air pollution from construction - dangerous for sufferers of COPD, Asthma and other lung conditions -no money put aside from Sunnica of the decommissioning of the site after 40 years, it will be down to the owner at that time. -no guarantee the land can be returned to it's former agricultural use after 40years!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Patricia Ann Houghton
"Sites are too close to houses and schools. Battery energy storage compounds far to close to houses in case of fire and noise. Good quality vegetable farmland being taken by Sunnica. Sites are close to the horse racing industries land. The land chosen will loose many species that thrive upon it. No local benefit to people. Huge carbon footprint which defeats the 'green' policy. Our properties in the area of the scheme will devalue."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Thurlow
"Agriculture Land. Farm land will be used for this proposed solar industrial estate. The land is needed for growing potato's, wheat, barley, onions, beet, carrots and much more. We are short of arable land in the UK. The above foods will need to be imported at great cost. After 35 years the land will be unusable as agriculture land and will take many years for its return to being usable as farm land again. Wild life. Will be killed off during the installation of this site and will never return to its current level. Many species are native to the area proposed for this solar industrial estate. Landscape The hole area will change and will look the same as an industrial estate, not the pleasant English country side we have at the moment. Tourists, walkers and current visitors will not want to come to this area while being installed and and when finished. Lost revenue will be a result of this. Sunnica state when the installation is finish all will be hidden from view by trees and new hedges. The growth of which will take many years before being at a height to block the panels. In the mean time everyone will be looking at the metal industrial mess. Public footpaths bridleways and right of ways. This area proposed for the installation has a vast amount of stables and horses based here. While the installation is underway public rights of way will be closed. Horse riders will have to ride on the roads. THIS WILL BE VERY DANGEROUS to all as many more lorry's will be on our roads during this installation time. Storage Batteries FIRE FIRE FIRE. Many of this type of batteries have had problems and have ended up on fire. One incident in Liverpool, when a batterie was on fire involved people being evacuated from homes over a mile or so from the fire source. If a fire was to happen and people are evacuated no plans are in place for the evacuation of livestock and horses what will happen to them. Many horses within this area are worth thousands of pounds??. On the very first meeting with Sunnica the representative I spoke to did mention the batteries are really the only part of this which is needed, as electric can be drawn from the grid at night and sold back at a higher price when needed during the day. This too me came over as a big money making operation if this is so!!."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Phillip Cross
"I don’t believe solar panels are justifiable in the northern hemisphere, because the biggest demand on the national grid is between October & March when there is very little sun because of the short days. I would rather see other types of green energy used rather than using perfectly good farmland. I would rather the huge amount of funds spent for very little energy return are used to research and make cold fusion work in a central generating environment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sandra Jager
"Ruin countryside Unable to produce food therefore need to import more Panels on factories and farm buildings My roof already has maximum panels"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sean Newell
"This solar power station is an abomination. The scale means that the entire countryside around our villages will be blighted. Fertile, crop growing land will not be abandoned in favour of incredibly inefficient, expensive solar energy for what purpose? Simple to store in a bank of some 30 5m tall batteries to be located only one mile from our homes. These batteries are proven to be dangerous particularly in terms of fire. Once they catch fire they cannot be put out and villagers need to be evacuated. Then there’s the sheer magnitude of the construction effort meaning our country roads will become incredibly dangerous for years."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Suzanne Royston
"I strongly object to the Sunnica Solar Farm Development. I have two children, and whilst I understand and support the need to find renewable energy, especially in light of the current energy situation, it is important for our future generations that the renewable energy we use is sustainable, reduces our carbon footprint and can be used indefinitely whilst not negatively impacting the local community, our mental health, landscape and wildlife. I do not feel that the Sunnica development meets this and that it will impact our community negatively for many generations to come. Here are my main reasons for objection to the development; ? The size of the site is massive, it has a significant impact on the local community and is spread out through over seven villages affecting thousands of people. ? The land proposed in the development is predominantly flat, fencing and trees will change the landscape removing the natural beauty of the area and affecting wildlife. ? The land proposed to be used currently is vegetable growing farmland, removing this from the local community will affect local farms that use these fields, the local job market and food production. ? There will be a huge loss of habitat for wildlife. ? The Carbon footprint of the whole project from manufacturing the panels, to their commissioning will be significantly more than the offset of the energy the panels provide. ? Solar Panel Batteries are not safe. There is 77 acres of battery storage planned, some of which is close to residential areas which is not acceptable. ? There is no decommissioning plan which will be expensive and left for future generations to deal with. ? There will be a colossal increase in traffic during its development which would cause a significant impact to all of the local villages – many of which are very small and have narrow roads."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alison Young
"I am concerned that the way things are going in the world today, that we need to preserve every piece of arable land that we have to provide food for future generations. There are other areas of land not too far away which would not affect the need to preserve as much arable land as possible. I am also concerned about the proximity of the batteries. Is there potential danger to the surrounding area from these batteries if anything goes wrong. I understand that the batteries have a relatively short life and disposal could be a matter for concern"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Northfield
"1. The size of the proposed development is too big. 2. The proposed battery storage facilities are located too close to existing houses and are a potential risk to health in the event of a fire. 3. The loss of fertile agricultural land will result in a reduced food production. 4. The access roads are unsuitable for the high numbers of hgv vehicle movements that will be required during the construction phase. 5. There is no clear plan for decommissioning the solar farm at the end of it's life and recycling of the panels etc.. 6. Loss of natural habitat for native wildlife 7. Adverse effect on the historic environment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ann Holton
"Loss of arable land and wildlife habitats Destruction of many houses Installation of storage batteries with a fire risk Increase of lorries on roads over a huge area Ugly solar panels on beautiful countryside Burwell already has a large battery storage installation which has spoilt country walks, this will create more mud and potholes. Burwell also already has a large solar farm The work will disrupt the whole area for many months"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Bryan Oliver
"While clearly the UK needs to increase its renewable electricity supplies this cannot be at any cost. I know this area rural area very well living here all my life. The scheme as planned will cause irreparable damage in so many ways, I list a few that immediately spring to mind. - While not a midlife expert,I have seen in recent weeks within the proposed development areas, barn owls, tawny owls, roe deer hares, woodpeckers, otters and kites. None of this wildlife will be capable of surviving within such an enormous solar farm and Sunnica have not presented any viable and expert endorsed plans that suggest that the wildlife mitigation will be sufficient to avoid significant damage to the wildlife population. - Much of the development will be on farm land which is used today to produce a variety of crops. Now more than ever before taking valuable farmland out of production is likely to be detrimental to both the local economy and the country as a whole. - this rural landscape would be lost for ever."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Carol Elizabeth Denson
"1. Chippenham road structures cannot support any additional traffic. In particular heavy construction vehicles, negotiating narrow turnings. There are numerous racing establishments en route, with horses and foals in road side paddocks. 2. Planning application under consideration will increase volume of traffic entering and leaving a new housing development already rejected by ECDC due to safety issues around access. 3. Chippenham is surrounded by prime agricultural land which will be overdeveloped. We should be preserving our farmland given increasing costs."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Charlotte MacTulloch-Gair
"77 acres of battery storage compounds close to Red Lodge Health and Safety risk of potential fires and release of poisonous gases only 1 mile away from schools Hundreds of HGV vehicles clogging up the village and surrounding area 2500 acres of good arable land laid to waste permanently"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Royston
"I strongly object to the Sunnica Solar Farm Development. Even given the current energy situation, it is important for our future generations that the renewable energy we use is sustainable, reduces our carbon footprint and can be used indefinitely without negatively impacting the local community, landscape and wildlife and, just as importantly, our mental health and wellbeing. I do not feel that the Sunnica development meets these requirements, and that it will impact our community negatively for many generations to come. Here are my main reasons for objection to the development; • The size of the site is massive, it has a significant impact on the local community and is spread out through over seven villages which will affect thousands of local people. • The land proposed in the development is predominantly flat, fencing and trees will change the landscape removing the natural beauty of the area and adversely affecting habitat for local wildlife. • The land proposed to be used currently is vegetable growing farmland, removing this from the local community will affect local farms that use these fields, the local job market and food production more generally. • There will be a significant loss of habitat for wildlife. I’d also note that much of the development is very close to local SSIs (Chippenham Fen a Nature Conservation Review site, Grade I, a Ramsar wetland site, and a Special Area of Conservation (part of the multi-site Fenland SAC), and Fordham Woods which is a wet valley woodland, a rare habitat in Cambridgeshire) • The Carbon footprint of the whole project from manufacturing the panels, to their commissioning will be significantly more than the offset of energy the panels provide. • Solar Panel Batteries are not safe, and are prone to thermal runaway in the event of a fire. There is 77 acres of battery storage planned, some of which is close to residential areas which is not acceptable. • There is no decommissioning plan which will be expensive and left for future generations to deal with. • There will be a colossal increase in traffic during its development which would cause a significant impact to all of the local villages – many of which are very small and have narrow roads."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Clare Cambridge
"As a farmer I am concerned about the Giant Solar Farm; this development will destroy over 2500 acres of decent arable land . Britain is more dependent than ever upon our own soil for food production. Can it be right that land which has grown vegetables and cereals is lost to arable farming for ever? The President of the NFU has emphasised the need to preserve our arable land: are DEFRA happy about this scheme? Could a scaled-down version of the Sunnica plan be sited on land which cannot grow crops? A ‘Brown-field site’ previously used for industry? In France, solar panels are placed on the roofs of supermarket carparks. Would sheep grazing between the panels of the site adequately replace the site’s arable productivity? Might there be other problems associated with keeping sheep long-term around this plant? Giant Solar Farms can accelerate Climate Change Please read a study published 25 March 2021 by Dr Benjamin Smith of Sydney’s Hawkesbury Institute and Dr Zhengyao Lu of Lund University, Sweden. Their research paper Giant desert solar farms might have unintended climate consequences, examines the trend for establishing giant solar farms in the Sahara. The scientists found that such huge installations can cause a rise in temperature leading to severe weather events around the plant eg floods and storms, ultimately accelerating Climate Change: “ The panels are usually much darker than the ground they cover, so a vast expanse of solar cells will absorb a lot of additional energy and emit it as heat, affecting the climate.” The scientists explain that the weather problems did not arise because the farms were in the desert, but because of their innate construction. “Solutions such as this may help society transition from fossil energy, but Earth system studies such as ours underscore the importance of considering the numerous coupled responses of the atmosphere, oceans and land surface when examining their benefits and risks.” Problems for birdlife The site locale is renowned for sanctuaries like Kingfisher Bridge, attracting ornithologists from all over Britain. What if the birds began to die? The USA often site huge solar farms in deserts but the Department of Energy has noticed high numbers of avian deaths and funded a research project to establish why so many birds die daily around solar farms. Do birds plunge into the blue panels mistaking them for a lake? Many birds have scorched wings. Scientists noted that giant solar farms caused loss of habitat for other species, upsetting the balance of nature. Problems for human health. There has been much medical debate about the ill-effects caused by electromagnetic waves and humming from the giant solar farm. Particulates emanating from the plant might also contaminate local water reservoirs. Disposing of spent solar panels. How will the spent solar panels be disposed of? Disposal involves an industrial-sized shredder and a hammermill. Are East Cambridgeshire and West Suffolk councils ready to fund this? Or will local taxpayers?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Colleen Alexande
"I want to register my STRONG objection to the proposed SUNNICA FARM a project which will have a huge negative impact on myself and my family who live in Isleham and Burwell. We left Cambridge for the benefits of rural living, for peace and quiet. This is essential for my good mental health. I walk on the footpaths daily, cycle to the surrounding villages and enjoy the nature reserves and vistas. All of this will disappear as we are in eloped in a sea of solar panels and hazardous battery storage units, barbed wire fences and security lights. Solar panels are taking productive farm land. Wildlife habits will be destroyed. There are NO ADEQUATE SAFETY MEASURES POTENTIAL FIRES OF THE STORAGE UNITS. BATTERIES ARE EXTREMELY VOLATILE & HIGHLY TOXIC AND REQUIRE SPECIALIST FIRE CREWS. WHAT ARE THE EVACUATION PLANS.. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR EVACUATION. SUNNICA HAS SITED THE FARMS IN POPULATED VILLAGES AND SCHOOLS. I UNDERSTAND THAT THIS NEW ENERGY SORCE FALLS BETWEEN TWO DEPARTMENTS WITHIN THE HEALTH & SAFETY EXC AND NEITHER ARE ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY SO H&S IS GOING UNMANAGED. The noise and VIBRATION will be unbearable~ constant hum from batteries. Proposed work to take place from 7.30~5.30 for 6 days a week. Unacceptable influx of workforce to the village. House price will be adversely affect Our roads will be congested with workmen and plant machinery Waterways polluted by run off from panels There is no decommissioning plan for batteries or panels. THIS IS NOT. CARBON NEUTRAL and incredibly damaging and disrespectful of the local population. Sunnica have not show due diligence in consultation or transparency."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Holton
"- Loss of arable land - Dangerous battery storage system - Proximity to residential areas and schools - Greatly increased traffic on rural roads, both during construction and for maintenance when in operation - Loss of wildlife habitats, variety of flora - The sheer scale of the proposal, which will detract from the amenity and character of the surrounding centres of population - Burwell, where I live, already has a large electricity substation linked to the national grid, a noisy battery storage installation which has resulted in traffic disruption and muddy roads, and remains unpleasant for walkers and cyclists. The proposed cable will repeat all this. Enough is enough."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Debbie Davies
"I object to the proposal for Sunnica on the following grounds : - the devastation of arable farm land and destruction of natural habitats for wildlife - the possible decrease in house prices which means I personally could lose thousands of pounds - the disruption during the construction phase with 1000 staff and 200 heavy vehicles driving through rural villages on unsuitable roads - the questions over the safety of the technology and battery lifespan and the possible impact to the health of residents I don’t believe using countryside that is needed for food production of a growing population should be used for such a huge solar site. There is unused space on the roof tops of commercial and industrial buildings, round abouts, and the roofs of all the new housing estates that are being built."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Deborah Harden
"Will severely affect the beauty of our environment. Detracts from views around the area and affects wildlife population."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Colin Groom
"1. The planning application (in particular the maps provided) fail to represent other recently developed solar farm installations. The plans and the application must be resubmitted identifying all areas which are currently used for solar installations, not just those in this proposal. As it stands, the proposal gives a misleading picture of the both the current land use and projected land use making approval of the project impossible. All schemes detailed in Cummulative Schemes Appendix 5A, Table 1.1 should be added to all maps submitted in support of this application before it can be considered. 2. Should any of the application be appropved conditions much be applied such that ; a. All infrastructure used during the construction (e.g roads and verges) must be made good to return them to their orignal, or better, state. b. Construction work must be limited to 9-5, Monday to Friday. Given the ratio of the construction time to the proposed lifetime of this project work outside of these periods should not be permitted. 3. Appropriate, independently controlled finances for the anticipated decommisioning of the scheme must be secured. This must be sufficient for returning the are to its current uses and condition. 4. On decomissioning, any subsequent planning applications must be considered against the use of the land as it is today (i.e. they must not account of the fect that this development is already in place) 5. The scheme should, when in operation, 'run dark', i.e. there should be no lighting of any kind for any aspects of the scheme when workers are not present. 6. Section 6.3 Environmental Statement - Figure 10-58c to 10-68b - Viewpoint Photographs should be resubmitted and marked-up with representative images / sketches of the development. The current images with simple lines showing the approximate extent of the development are insufficient to allow assessment of this application. Verifiable photomontages should be prepared for all infrastructure of the development, including Burwell substation, not just the areas with solar panels. 7. The scheme should include plans and costings for the appropriate re-use or disposal of solar panels when past their working life."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Henrietta Deasy
"-Poor use of Prime agricultural land. I know this is prime land as my brother farms in the area. I am concerned that as a country we need to become more self sufficient in food production. Global warming in other parts of the world is affecting farming, so this land should be reserved for farming. -University analysis has shown this overall project is a carbon generator which does not support the governments pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2050. - The uk should have a more joined up renewable energy policy which is long term. This project lasts only 40 years and will ruin the countryside for several generations. There are many brown field sites or indeed the 600,000 acres of south facing industrial roof space that could be used for solar panels. -As a doctor, I find it highly alarming that very large lithium batteries are to be placed close to communities. Should they catch fire, they produce highly toxic gas and the fire cannot be put out."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Geoff Crowley
"I am against the Sunnica solar farm application for the following reasons: It is too close to residential properties - Whilst i am not against the idea in principle, it is the location of this site that concerns me. The introduction of this site will have a detrimental affect on the price of properties as will destroy the current views. The size and scale of this site seems excessive and will have a huge impact on the local landscape. The size of the panels will be hard to disguise with screening/trees and will be an unnecessary eyesore Disruption to the wildlife, landscape and green areas will be significant. The risk of battery storage/fire hazards implications are great, which have been witnessed on other sites. The traffic that will be needed to construct these sites will greatly effect the local areas, commutes/school runs and will create ongoing disruption to the areas. Loss of opportunities for the local farmers/produce."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Grant Harden
"Will severely affect the beauty of the area Will impact our daily enjoyment of our environment Will add nothing to the local area in terms of economy except those employed or associates with Sunnica Detracts from views around the area Detracts from wildlife population Is larger than expected Is not a acceptable development in any terms Will devalue the area generally and property values will be severely affected"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rachel Howe
"I am against this for the following reasons. 1. Safety. Potential fire risk and the devastation that would follow. 2. Loss of farm land. 3. Loss of natural habitat bfor wildlife 4. An eyesore for our beautiful countryside 5. Will this have any implications on our health? 6 there is no local benefit it just ruins our rural area. 7. Value of our properties!!!!!;"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Terence Walter Chinery
"I wish to object to this development. Loss of 2,500 acres of farmland which we cannot afford to lose. Around 77 acres are for battery compounds to house volatile batteries. When they catch fire they cannot be put out and create poisonous gases which can be lethal in tiny amounts. Battery compounds create a substantial noise nuisance. (I have personal experience living near the one at Burwell.) Sunnica financial position is unstable also they have no experience of building a BESS on this scale. The building of an extension to the substation housing a transformer which will increase the noise nuisance I already suffer- more sleepless nights. T W Chinery"
Members of the Public/Businesses
A Scripls
"The proposed energy farm takes over too much of the current arable land surrounding the villages. This impacts on the farming community and their employees. There are implications in the future as the cells are not able to be recycled which impacts on the disposal of them and subsequent pollution of the land. Therefore I am against the proposal."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ali Aston
"Dross safety - vehicles coming down unsuitable roads Safety of the batteries when I gets too hot. The scale of this operation is completely unnecessary. Not actually eco friendly or sustainable energy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Christopher Mason on behalf of Angeles Hornero del Castillo
"I object to this project because it will mean a huge area of good arable land will be permanently transferred to commercial use. We need to be more self sufficient as a nation in respect of food production, and using arable land for solar panels is a poor use of this resource. We also need to be more self sufficient in our energy generation, and solar farms and wind turbines are an inefficient and unreliable way of achieving this. If solar farms and wind turbines are to be placed anywhere it should be offshore. The proposed Sunnica installation is far too large for its area and would be impossible to hide from view. It would also permanently ruin a large area of attractive countryside."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anne Lister
"I totally object to the sunnica solar and battery farm application 1. This is a rural area with a long history of farming , This area has always had a high yield of arable crops i.e sugar beet ,potatoes,onions,parsnips,wheat and barley ect which is a large contribution towards this country’s self sufficiency. 2.If this application is granted , sunnica will be able to use compulsory purchase orders , To make this one the largest solar farms in Europe covering almost 3.000 acres 3.My further objection is the disruption and distruction of our rural C” and B” class roads by the contractors very heavy vehicles and machinery needed to construct this site. 4.My further objection is the health risks of the huge battery storage units., There is a known history of fires from these storage units in other locations . These give off very toxic fumes making it difficult to exstinguish,those planned here will be situated close to schools and housing areas. The list of objections go on and on it would be the industrialisation of our countryside. Adverse effect on our wildlife , sound disturbance, size and scale of the sites, The need to import the food that we would lose through the loss of that which is grown here. It puts into question how can that give a better carbon footprint. What happens to the decommissioning of the site at the end of its life? I further object because it will infringe on hundreds of peoples lives in this area as they see their quality of life and the value of their homes diminish in value."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Bob Humphrey
"This is farm land that is needed more than ever to enable the UK to grow local food to feed the country and should not be given up to Solar parks. Wind farms would be much more appropriate. Solar farms should be reserved for every new home and industrial unit. as well as retrofitted to all the huge industrial buildings being built in the area. Disruption and increased traffic during the build. Our roads are already failing into disrepair. Environmental impact will be huge on loss of farming and wildlife in an area that is flourishing. Once again the roads of Burwell will be dug up again for more cables and more infrastructure to support this ridiculous plan."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Barrow
"I consider that the development is far too large and some of the sites proposed will have a significant negative impact on the Character of the area. The southern Sunnica sites are principally within the East Anglian Chalk National Character Area no 87 which stretches from Letchworth to just north of Newmarket. This means the large expanse of panels proposed particularly south east of Snailwell will impact on that area significantly. This is especially the case as the character area is narrow and is limited north of Newmarket. Of particular significance is to note the importance of the area of land between Newmarket, the Newmarket horse training grounds (The Limekilns etc) which are extensive and the historic parklands of Chippenham Park and Lodge and the protected Chippenham Fen, a National Nature Reserve. Looking at the proposed solar locations it will be seen that nearly all of this landscape will be lost forever and totally ruined ie the Landscape character of the East Anglian Chalk, as it is so limited in this area. The summary of the character states that:This creates a visually simple and uninterrupted landscape of smooth, rolling chalkland hills with large regular fields enclosed by low hawthorn hedges, with few trees, straight roads and expansive views to the north. (REFERENCE NATIONAL ENGLAND WEB SITE) The landscape quite simply can’t take the extent of coverage proposed as in effect the fundamental landscape character will be damaged and irreversibly ruined. National Policy in the NPPF para 174 states the importance of protection of the landscape. This proposal isn't a couple of fields within a landscape that is extensive and can take it , it is effectively all of that landscape in this section of the countryside and will totally wipe out the character of the landscape. The sites around Isleham fall right at the northern tip of the Chalk landscape with the open fields between Freckenham and Isleham being the last of the this landscape before it transitions into the fens. Again when the extent of the landscape type is so limited anything of scale will do significant damage. Overall the proposal is far too big, it cannot be accommodated within the landscape without significant damage. Expansive views cannot be mitigated with tree planting as the character will be lost for ever."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Claire Bishop
"The vast size of this solar plant has concerns for me as the proposed acreage of the BESS compounds appear to be unprecedented and the safety is a major concern for me as a motherof two school age children. I worry about the affect of the high volume/ and type of traffic using the village roads, will my children still be able to be independent, I.e walk to and use the school bus . I am also puzzled as to why good grade arable farmland is being taken away from food production ?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Darren McVee
"IN general I support this initiative and the need for renewable energy. I have the following concerns: The large scale of the project - Sunnica Ltd have no experience at this scale. The sites use greenbelt land which will be lost. Why not brownfield or solar panels on existing commercial and industrial buildings? Carbon footprint when built - shipping in panels and batteries. Carbon footprint when end of life - safe disposal and environmental impact of rare earth metals. The greenfield sites that are being used are agricultural land and provide habitats for wildlife and fauna. Demand for food producing land will increase in the future with the drive for meat-free farming. At end of life the land will be considered ‘brownfield’ and therefore further development will take place. Permanent loss of farmland. No long term employment opportunities for people in the area. Nothing offered to the community as compensation - for example cycle ways etc. There is no additional meaningful local employment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Karen Goodman on behalf of David Goodman
"nearly 3,000 acres of prime farmland will be gone for ever particularly when we need to be as self sufficient as we can be. Acres of glass near villages who are all against the project.40acres taken for 3 story storage units which if they catch fire give off toxic gasses and difficult to put out. No public consultation by Sunnica only now showing details of plan. Endless traffic problems while installation. Reduction in the value of houses. To cap all Sunnica is a Spanish company and all profits will go to Spain who are in the European Union an organisation to which we no longer belong. Sunnica are bullying their way to excessive profits while ignoring the views of villagers ,detriment to wild life,the carbon footprint while installing far greater than benefit gained."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Sandison
"I urge you to block this project, or at least to substantially reduce its scope. I am concerned at the environmental impact both immediate and in the long term. The projects carbon footprint is huge. It is wrong to think of this as a “green” development. I am especially worried about the BESS component to the project. I suspect this is a key financial element with potential to make Sunnica’s shareholders substantial profits and yet BESS technology is nascent and fraught with risk. This project is ill conceived and opportunistic. It should be rejected."
Members of the Public/Businesses
James Ferguson
"-Over 1,000,000 solar panels most likely imported from China and therefore not as sustainable as suggested. -2,500 acres of good arable greenfield land which be ruined and turned into brownfield site ruining the land for generations to come. There is no guarantee the land can be used again for its previous purpose. The countryside will be lost. - There is no meaningful local employment therefore no local benefit. -Around 77 Acres of battery energy storage compounds separated into 3 sites, All close to homes."
Members of the Public/Businesses
James Smith
"I object to this application for the following reasons. 1. Nearly 1000 vehicles will be used daily by Sunnica passing through Chippenham in the morning and evening. This is a village already clogged with traffic as a rat run through route. 2. The project will be using agricultural land now even more necessary for growing food. 3. For those living anywhere near the storage batteries their lives would be risked daily with the possibility of one of them catching fire, releasing lethal gasses. 4. Whilst not objecting to alternative forms of clean energy this project is too huge by any standards. The size will swallow up far too much land around beautiful historical villages. A travesty."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kay Blackwell
"Health & Safety:- Potential fires & release of poisonous gas 1 mile from schools and surrounding residential areas. 77 acres used for battery storage compounds close to Red Lodge. Fire breakouts from these are not unheard of. Hundreds of HGV vehicles clogging up roads in surrounding villages inc Red Lodge. 2,500 acres of good farmimg land laid to waste on a permanent basis. Wild life corridoors and habitats lost for the for the next 40 y + years including flora and fauna. Green spaces and farmland that has been developed over many years, giving us the unique Suffolk countryside, will disappear for ever. Food security, we are losing more and more of our farmland and green spaces. These are so important to everyone, especially for our own UK food produce."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kevin Hiskey
"i am objecting to sunnica energy farm being built at the planned location as this will affect the landscape i enjoy seeing every day and it will be changed for ever i also dont think sunnica have gave everyone enough information and i also see that it could be a potential fire hazard and dangerous to people and to wildlife there are alot of deer owls birds of prey and other wildlife that use this location for hunting breeding eating and living which could all be lost to them please have a good look at this and give it the attention it deserves thinking of everything and everyone it will affect it is not a good location for a battery energy farm to be built there we all know that and so do sunnica"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Laura Dunling
"I am writing to object to the scheme, due to the following reasons - 1. Disruption during installation The continuous piling can be heard at our house, this is know from similar installations within the same sort of distance. 2. Increase in vehicular traffic past our house. This is already the case for similar developments, planning conditions stipulate all vehicles should travel down Reach Road but they ignore this and travel down the narrow residential streets through the village. This doesn't seem to be enforced very well apart from small signs. 3. Noise pollution. There has been a similar battery storage unit recently installed within the same proximity and the cooling fans can be heard at our house day and night spoiling the quiet, tranquil village life we used to enjoy. 4. Determent to Health Studies have shown that if fires break out they cannot be extinguished potentially expelling poisonous which our house would be in the vicinity of 5. Using good farmland The proposed scheme will be using existing good quality irrigated vegetable growing farmland which minimize the countries opportunity to be self sufficient. 6. Spoiling the countryside This will spoil the views of the existing countryside which have several scenic walks and is in the middle of a nature reserve which is home to wild horses and highland cattle."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Linda Davill
"I feel that the proposals made by sunnica to build this energy farm in the beautiful landscape that i and many other residents in the area would be blighted and will never be the same again i feel like the information given to households in the area is one sided and all about sunnica Also no one knows how this will affect the landscape in the long term Will there be any side effects of living in such close proximity to this Will there any health implications What if having this nearby has a direct effect on the value of my home It will have an effect on the wildlife , taking up habitat of wild animals and birds"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mark Smith
"concern over scale of the solar farm. concerns how close,especially the battery storage is to our homes. massive concerns of fire hazard&toxic gases to health. massive concerns for our house price. concerns over the land being put to better use to grow vegetables&crops. there is no benefit to us financially or to even benefit from the electricity produced. concerns the these panels&batterys are from china using child labour. concerns that it has massive carbon footprint when we are trying to reduce that in the UK we love the peacefulness of red lodge, the fact that we are in the countryside, i fear this will change dramatically&will affect wildlife&land forever to the area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Matthew Dunling
"I am writing to object to the scheme, due to the following reasons - 1. Disruption during installation The continuous piling can be heard at our house, this is know from similar installations within the same sort of distance. 2. Increase in vehicular traffic past our house. This is already the case for similar developments, planning conditions stipulate all vehicles should travel down Reach Road but they ignore this and travel down the narrow residential streets through the village. This doesn't seem to be enforced very well apart from small signs. 3. Noise pollution. There has been a similar battery storage unit recently installed within the same proximity and the cooling fans can be heard at our house day and night spoiling the quiet, tranquil village life we used to enjoy. 4. Determent to Health Studies have shown that if fires break out they cannot be extinguished potentially expelling poisonous which our house would be in the vicinity of 5. Using good farmland The proposed scheme will be using existing good quality irrigated vegetable growing farmland which minimize the countries opportunity to be self sufficient. 6. Spoiling the countryside This will spoil the views of the existing countryside which have several scenic walks and is in the middle of a nature reserve which is home to wild horses and highland cattle."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Highland
"Good Morning, I would like further information in relation to the Sunnica project. I hear a lot of negatives in relation to the land being used for Solar panels but I do not have enough factual information to make an informed opinion about the project. 1. Estimations on how much CO2 would be produced for all works from start to finish on the Sunnica project, manufacturing the 1,000,000 solar panels, battery storage boxes, Vehicles, Diggers, Transportation, Concrete manufacturing. Provide factual detail based on smaller projects detailing number of solar panels and battery storage units installed. 2. Amount of CO2 absorbing plants/trees etc currently in place as by removing these plants this would add to the CO2 cost 3. How long would all the solar panels/batteries take to recoup the lost CO2 used in Point 1. 4. How long is a solar panels useful life before requiring replacement, and how much CO2 would be required to replace 1 solar panel including transport, machines/equipment to reinstall and dispose of the old unit etc? 5. What would the impact be on electromagnetic radiation being released into the air? 6. What will be the impact to the ecosystem of plant life, animal life, insects etc I look forward to hearing from you soon."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Nick Osborne
"My representation consists of objections to the Sunnica Solar farm project & reasons for my opposition to the scheme. 1/ The scale and scope of the project is excessively large and does not represent a sustainable option for residents of the surrounding villages & communities. 2/ The disruption caused by commissioning and decommissioning works would be unduly stressful and damaging to the local environment. 3/ The danger posed by battery storage units would be unacceptable and the mitigation of any risk remains unproven. 4/ The character and identity of the local area would be lost forever with the loss of 2,500 acres of productive agricultural land and the general utility and attractiveness of the area for recreational and residential purposes being blighted for future generations 5/ The endangerment to wildlife, flora and fauna would be unthinkable, with the scheme replacing natural habitats with a brownfield site, suitable only for future development."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Joan Willsmer
"I am concerned about the impact on the local environment and the safety of people , particularly the close proximity of the battery farms to Red Lodge. Also the increase of HGV vehicles in the area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Pauline Jennings
"- Huge loss of good quality local farmland. This land should be for the benefit of food & animal sustainability. Detrimental to so much wildlife. - Safety concerns. The batteries are extremely dangerous, full of toxic gases and are a fire hazard. - Environmental damage that is not justified by alleged green benefits, analysis has shown this project to have a massive carbon footprint in its construction. - A 12 metre high substation in Burwell will be an eyesore. - Disastrous for all the local communities property value. - Disastrous for the aesthetics of all of the local areas. - No benefits for local employment and all profits going to a Spanish company."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Judkins on behalf of Peter Flat
"We object to the Sunnica proposal because we feel that the land will be needed for food. We have been in farming all of our lives, the land in this area is good farming land. We grew wheat, sugar beet, potatoes, barley and celery. It should continue to provide food for the growing population. We are also worried about the fire risk of the batteries and the unsightliness of these in an area with open fields. The landscape will be totally different. Especially along Beck Road - it will look awful. It will surround lots of villages, not just Isleham. It's huge."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Raymond A Shipp
"Danger of the LI ION battery storage sites close to family homes (Fire Hazard giving off LETHAL POISONOUS GASES ) !! All EXCELLENT QUALITY Green Field land to be used !! UK ONLY 64% self sufficient in food Sunnica has no Experience in building BESS !! Potential Huge Profits for a SPANISH COMPANY !! University analysis of scheme shows its NOT CARBON GREEN !! All parts Panels etc to come from CHINA !!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard John Fridd
"Although, I like the principle of becoming energy self sufficient and generating our own electricity I do not believe that these land based schemes are viable and efficient use of space. I object to the Sunnica scheme on the following basis; It is not productive use of high quality arable land. I dont believe that once the soil has been stripped and steel posts driven in, that this land will ever be returned to arable land and will be prime for development in the future. The solar farm at Burwell is under construction now and the growing soil is being removed. Removal is reliant on a huge number of traffic movements (by heavy goods vehicles) through the village and even at these early stage the roads are crumbling and the village road network adversely affected. The contractor is running a diesel generator 24/7 to power their site setup creating even more carbon in the local atmosphere and way in excess of any farming operations. The use of solar panels and precious metals is not a good use of these resources. PV panels cannot be recycled. Sunnica is a foreign based company and I do not believe that non UK investors should be involved in the provision of power for our country. We become even more reliant on foreign countries for the import of foods due to the loss of arable land. The UK population is growing and we need all of the arable land for arable use. The solar farm will blight Burwell which is under sustained pressure to accept more and more industrial energy based systems at no benefit to Burwell or the surrounding areas. The solar farm does not create local jobs and is being undertaken by a northern contractor that travels into the area using even more fossil fuels and creating more carbon. Power at any cost is not environmentally friendly solution. Regards Richard Fridd"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sam Bullard
"This is prime UK farmland which is based in the heart of rural England. We all want sustainable fuel, the marine based wind farms provide a great deal of this. These pylons have not started to harness the tide with a paddle attached . Why not? The villages surrounding this site will be destroyed and this is not the way forward. It is being sought by entrepreneurs for personal gain, with no car or respect for local residents and the racing industry which has been based in the area for over 200 years providing a great deal more employment that Sunnica will. The batteries are dangerous and totally unacceptable in their current unproven form."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sophie Sandison
"I would be so depressed if this horrible project goes ahead. I want to reduce dependence on fossil fuels but I do not believe Sunnica’s proposal is an appropriate way to tackle the issue. It will destroy agricultural land, replace it with huge amounts of concrete/silica/security fencing/battery farms. I believe this project is all about making money for various landowners and Sunnica shareholders. It is not in the interests of our community. Please reject this project."
Non-Statutory Organisations
The Isleham Society
"The Isleham Society exists to encourage interest in the heritage of the village and its surroundings. All fifty members at our last meeting requested that we register concern about: the scale of the project which would alter the open field agricultural nature of the landscape; serious concern about the safety of the batteries in respect of unknown fire risk; miles of security fencing interfering with the movement of wild life especially deer hares and pheasants; panels covering the site of the bomber crash in which US and RAF servicemen lost their lives; no guarantee of restoring the land to agricultural condition after the project ends; huge heavy traffic increase on narrow country roads which already get very muddy; no benefits to local area; loss of productive farming land when we should be working towards greater national food self sufficiency"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Victoria Bullard
"I am objecting to this application because it is far too big for its location and ruins too many local communities. It will affect 7 villages in all ruining their views their rural lifestyle and their property prices. It is an immense leap from current solar farms to the size of this one. It has taken too much of our local farmland out of production, all of which is not, as has been suggested, low grade.This likely is unlikely ever to return to farmland but more likely in future become development sites which is also not what the local community sought when moving here.I do not believe this scheme will ever be carbon neutral given the scale and set up costs."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Yvette Smith
"I would like to state that I am not against solar energy. I am however against the plans put forward by Sunnica, for the following reasons: 1. I live [redacted] in Chippenham, and I am very concerned about the reported increase in traffic through the High Street. Another 600 vehicles a day, six days a week? Is that acceptable? 2. The plans for the proposed areas of panels is too big, and too concentrated for the local area. 3. Why has such a beautiful rural area been selected for such a development? Why are these solar farms not being built where there is less dense population? 4. I understand that there are reports that these solar panels have been built by Uighur people in China, in conditions of slave labour and imprisonment. Is this true? Is that acceptable? 5. I understand that the solar panels proposed have a life span of about 20 years. What will happen to them after that? How will they be disposed of? Will the prime agricultural land then be given over to housing development? Is that acceptable? 1. I am against the Sunnica Energy Farm and I do not believe that adequate public consultation has taken place. To ask for public debate, discussion and objection during a pandemic is cowardly and smacks of trying to bury bad news. 2. The plans submitted are far too big for the local area, and will cause large swathes of land to be solar panels, destroying the natural beauty. 3. The land to be used is agricultural and will be blighted for years to come. There is no adequate provision for safe disposal when the panels have outlived their usefulness. Will the land be returned to agricultural use? Or just built on? 4. Scant regard has been given to those living on the main routes through the idyllic villages this project will affect. The traffic is already busy, and an additional 900 vehicles a day is totally unacceptable. Would you buy a house next to this sort of road? 5. There is insufficient information and research into the long term safety of the panels themselves, and the battery storage areas. Fires and release of chemicals is a risk that I believe has not been justified in this crazy rush to jump on the solar energy band waggon. 6. The parent company for Sunnica is based in Spain. Why are they determined to put something as large as this project into an area of such population and beauty? THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE ON ANY LEVEL. 6. What safety considerations have been given to the siting of solar panels so close to the local population? What research has been done into the long term effects of living near the panels or the battery storage areas? 7. Is it correct that several fires have occurred in battery storage areas? What steps have been taken ensure the safety of the local population? The fires release poisonous gases which are deadly even in tiny amounts. 8. The cons of Sunnica far out weigh the benefits: The panels are going to be made and imported from China (do we need to be more dependent on China?) The local population will be plagued by 2 years of their areas being disrupted and blighted by traffic and noise. Beautiful English countryside will be spoilt by the providing of profits for a Spanish company. The dangers of the panels and the battery storage do not justify any benefits of solar energy. The land given up to these panels will be lost for future generations, possibly for ever. Is that acceptable?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alan Kinninmonth
"Loss of valuable farming land (especially since the horrific aggression in Ukraine) We need to be able to produce more of our own food in this country Loss of natural environment The loss of trees, hedges and wildlife will never recover Upheaval to local traffic during build stage These local roads are not suitable for the proposed (under estimated) volume of construction vehicles Devaluation to property prices With this eyesore so close to so many villages, property prices will fall Insufficient information regarding restoration of trees and hedges Very vague statements regarding replacement of trees etc and what will be visible while they are growing"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anne Mitchell
"I feel fear for the younger generations who will grow up in an area, which has been devastated by the solar panels, and concrete and fencing. I would have expected the site to be cleared by the operators after it's useful life has ended because of the very considerable dangers. There will be little employment provided as the panels are to be purchased abroad, contractors used from outside the area and profits to all go for the benefit of Spanish owners. We have heard nothing about subsidised electricity prices for the local area, despite being expected to put up with huge amounts of disruption and noise during the construction. I feel that we are part of an experiment as the owners have no experience of building on this scale, for which they will bear no responsibility. We have all noticed the food prices increase, so how can we afford to lose prime farmland. I would like to see the Council supporting more solar panels on rooves - this should be standard on all new build houses, and yet we have lots of building sites in the area, and this is clearly not the case."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Bruce Knight
"I am an independent consultant and technical journalist relating specifically to agricultural developments both technical and policy. My submission will be based on the concerns that I have that the large area of land being proposed for this development involves the conversion of good agricultural crop land which is currently in use for cereals and high value crops. This conflicts with the nation's need to maintain and possibly increase domestic food crop production"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Camilla Vaughan
"Objection to the application. I have close family in Badlingham/Chippenham and have enjoyed many years of long visits, walks, rides and exploration. To see the scale of the proposed solar farms is overwhelming. To take away such a large amount of rural land for the proposed sites is going to completely change the landscape. The proposed farms will not benefit the local area - no great employment, beneficial facilities, beautifying etc. the scale is so impacting for the small villages it will surround. Yes we need more renewables but not all in one area and an area that is typically small villages, with infrastructure in place for rural living. The projects will cause so much disruption setting up that locals will be impacted negatively going about their daily business."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dawn Smith
"I’m not happy for this largest solar farm to installed in this area. It will spoil the natural landscape of the area. There will undoubtedly be an increase in traffic whilst being installed with no updates to local infrastructure that is already under pressure in the local villages. I don’t see how this will be beneficial project to the local community apart from a blot on the local landscape & the effect to wildlife. This just seems a money making exercise for local land owners selling their souls!! Maybe I could understand it if the local community would benefit from cheaper energy as a result of this but I haven’t seen any mention of that."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Duncan Maxwell
"I have lived with my family in this area for many years and feel a close emotional connection with Red Lodge. I am concerned about the environmental impact of the proposed development. I am also concerned that there will be a negative impact on local birds and flowers. I feel that any changes or developments made in the red lodge area need to be taken forward in a considered way that is in keeping with the environment. Whilst I am a fan of solar energy and other forms of carbon reduction I am not currently convinced that the sunnica proposal is the most environmentally sound idea. I look forward to expanding my views on the subject once I have become more fully acquainted with the issues."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Elizabeth Hollop
"An Industrial sized solar farm has absolutely NO business in and around the villages of our area. Were these solar panels warehouses, there would be no question that they would not be allowed to dominate the landscape, kill off wildlife, take up valuable farm land. The benefit of the solar power could be better achieved in an area that does NOT include villages that have been in existence for hundreds of years! It is unthinkable that the history and legacy of these villages could be allowed to be destroyed by HGV traffic and construction. I am also very concerned about the health implications of this site. We know that lithium ion batteries are too dangerous to be mailed- huge batteries, sitting in dry fields, is a recipe for wild fires! There is also the concern for all the chemicals that could leak into the soil and end up in our drinking water. The knock on effects of this Sunnica Energy Farm are frightening. In the long run, a location that will not impact so many people would be a better choice of location."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Fiona C Peachey
"All for renewable energy, but this project is far too big . We need our farm land for food. We are an island and need to become self sufficient now we have left the European Union. Too close to our homes, over powering presence to all our properties, feeling of being engulfed by batteries. Disruption to our roads, causing noise & damage to surfaces, so much work for months on end so all areas will suffer. Spoiling our views of fields, wildlife & country walks, not good for our mental health. Disturbance of nesting birds & wildlife. Where will they go or be wiped out forever? Don't understand why the panels are not on every new build or every industrial estate, so not taking up good clean land. We all know we need better ways to produce energy, but re think & be mindful that thousands of people believe there are better ways forward please!!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Annette Flindall on behalf of Gerald Brian Flindall
"Disrespectful consultation, lacking in two way conversation. This has been promoted Green and my research tells me it is far from it. BESS fire would be catastrophic for residents and fire service alike. Recent events have proved we need ALL our farmland and more to sustain our lives, we cannot eat electricity. Mining of lithium and cadmium historically carried out by children. Leaching chemicals, lead and cadmium into the aquifers would make water undrinkable, for many years. Road disruption for over two years. Heavy good vehicles on narrow potholed strewn roads. This project has no regards for the protected wildlife we have in this area. e.g. Stone curlews, bats and crested newts. Unable to find any plans for decommissioning. Often the raw materials are mined by children. What guarantees do we have from sunnica that they do not use child Labour."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Helen Timmins
"I am not against solar energy but these are my main points regarding this application. 1. The size is far too big for the area, surrounding local villages and taking away valuable arable farming. Loss of habitat for species, major impact for the whole 40+ years. 2. Increase of carbon miles as will need to import instead of getting locally. 3. Risk of fire from the battery storage. 4. No clear plan for decommissioning. How can Sunnica put in any guarantees when they plan to sell!! 5. Majority of panels coming from PRC???? How does the government's ethical sourcing fit with this? 6. Ground mounted UK solar energy generation is useless and insignificant in contributing to UK power generation capacity.... at a time the all our power bills are set to double ... we cannot, intelligently let these faux generation schemes take place. 7. Solar has been proved to be less efficient that other renewables."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julia Barnes
"This project is just too large. In general I support solar and other renewal projects but this one will destroy our countryside. Solar fields should be tucked away from eye lines and road routes rather than becoming infill between and around villages. It will change for decades the attractive rural area that we currently live in and surround the villages with bland solar and with a loss of current farming. I do not wish to live with views of fencing rather than open fields. The large battery compounds are close to homes and the absolute safety of them is unknown."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julie Aldous
"• The size of the proposed development is far too big and will adversely affect the setting and character of several villages • The proposed battery storage facilities are located too close to existing houses and are a potential risk to health in the event of a fire. • The loss of fertile agricultural land will result in reduced food production at a time when we need to be relying on home grown food • The access roads are unsuitable for the high numbers of HGV vehicle movements that will be required during the construction phase • During the construction phase lives will be adversely affected by traffic and noise disruption six days a week • There is no clear plan for decommissioning the solar farm at the end of its life, for recycling panels and use of the land thereafter • Loss of natural habitat for native wildlife • Adverse effect on the historic environment"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Malcolm Goodridge
"My concerns over the size of the farm. The batteries and storage of the power and how safe it is going to be. Giving the size of the farm why is it only supplying 150.000 homes."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Marco Botti Ltd
"Newmarket is famous for its beautiful landscapes with equine stud farms and training facilities. People flock from worldwide to watch horses work on the famous gallops. a solar farm this big would only take away from its appeal, stop tourist from visiting and affect the industry. The power plant is in very close proximity to the gallop. horses can get spooked at any bright glare or foreign object not known to them. This is increasing the chance of equine and human injury. Whilst construction is underway the roads are likely to be busy. The town is already suffering from excess traffic. There are more and more close calls with vehicles nearly hitting horses. This is again extremely dangerous."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Maxine Simpson
"Due to rising tensions between Russia and the rest of Europe, including UK, there is forecast a potential world food crisis, as we have to import just under 48% of our food supplies from abroad, I cannot see how the government could justify this scheme in the current climate. As the world is so unstable and with our population continually growing would it not be more prudent to save our farm land and invest more into farming to meet our countries needs? As the world's bread basket will not be producing food for us or others, should we not try and hold onto Britain's bread basket, which is East Anglia. Removal of land from agricultural use to industrial will result in the whole area being changed forever and the way of life being lost. Solar schemes are not efficient use of the land, the carbon footprint of this scheme is huge with mining, importing, manufacturing and will outweigh any green benefits from the solar. I work in Red Lodge and am concerned by the safety aspects of the batteries, nothing on this scale has been built by this company, who are based in Spain and the country who have the contract to build it are based in Yorkshire, no employment or gain to the local population. Who will be responsible if there is loss of life, through explosion or toxic gases? Sunnica have already stated that they will be selling the scheme on. Newmarket and Exning are already gridlocked most days without adding extra traffic onto A14, A11, the villages and countryside will be destroyed and impact on the whole of Anglia. I worry about Newmarket, the impact this will have on the horse industry and way of life there, as a resident the training grounds are so splendid and used by many, this scheme will encroach on it and hem it in. The thought of this scheme is causing great anxiety and stress to me regarding my future here."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Denson
"Scale of scheme far exceeds resonable proportions that would be acceptable to the small rural communities directly affected. Quality of life for all local residents would be adversely affected, particularly during the projects contruction phase. Through traffic on Local B roads increases year on year as vehicals of all sizes opt to use our high streets as A14/A11 'cut throughs'. Adding heavy contruction vehicles to this mix will cause significant noise and safety issues. Prime agricultural land will be completely taken out of production for at least 40 years. This seems absurd given the obvious need to reduce food miles and increase sourcing locally grown produce."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr. Roger Durrant
"Size of development. Destruction of top grade farming land. Proximity to villages and residential dwellings. Destruction of wildlife habitat. Danger of explosion from storage batteries."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Patricia Audus
"I am objecting to the Sunnica application for 2,500 acre solar and battery plant proposed for Freckenham and the surrounding villages. I am very concerned with the impact this will have: - on the environment with loss of agricultural land and consequently native wildlife. The soil in this area has always been good for cereal and vegetable farming; - the impact of heavy plant machinery and an increase in traffic using the small village roads (noise, pollution, wear and tear on our already pot-holed roads); - the Sunnica BESS would be the largest in the world (a potential fire hazard with resulting poisonous gases) and Sunnica has no experience of building one on this scale. - the landscape will be changed forever. I live in this area because it is peaceful, green, an abundance of wildlife. It is THE COUNTRYSIDE! An alternative to vast schemes like this should be sought, for example, mandatory for all new-build houses to have solar panels, industries to have solar panels. This would provide a huge amount of solar energy. If other countries can generate energy this way, without massive green space destruction, then surely the UK can do the same."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Victor McCalmont
"Please halt this disastrously dangerous decision. They are trying to ruin the countryside and a beautiful and treasured Golf Course."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Philip Peachey
"Taking away good agricultural land needed for food. Spoiling all wildlife habitat To close to homes, concerns of fires from batteries & disruption to my village roads & damage caused Not benefitting as all energy going elsewhere"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ruth Wills
"I am objecting to this application for the following reasons: - scale of the project - it covers over 2,500 acres of greenfield land which is currently productive farmland and there is no guarantee that this will be restored at the end of the project - it will have a big negative impact (both visual and audio) on the surroundings of local people possibly with visual glare, increased traffic and destruction of local habitats and views - the environmental benefits of these panels are negated by the large carbon footprint of the project which includes large scale use of concrete, manufacture and importing of panels from China (surely it would be better to put solar panels on the huge numbers of new houses going up in the area which would benefit the local community and be environmentally beneficial). - there will be a big increase in HGV traffic to the area both during the building and running of the plant which will increase pollution and damage roads - the whole project has been designed with zero benefit to the local community - no employment, no offer of free or subsidised electricity supply, no provision of facilities - there will be 3 separate sites for battery storage which carry an increased fire risk - there will be a detrimental effect on wildlife by destroying large areas of habitat including that of protected species such as stone curlews East Cambridgeshire has already been targeted for large areas of housing development and many villages are currently growing outside the development envelope with inadequate facilities to cope with the increased population and traffic movement. It cannot cope with a huge and unprecedented project such as this one."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Gardella
"I object to the Sunnica Energy Farm project for the following reasons: • Loss of arable land, impact on local farmers and food supply, loss of agricultural jobs • Unknown technology, questionable sourcing - recycling of batteries at end of use could cause environmental damage • Over-exaggerated energy projections, especially given the size of the proposed development - and the insignificance of ground mounted solar energy to UK power generation • Fire hazards • Harm to landscape and surrounding area, impact on nature / environment and deterring of visitors to local area • Impact on infrastructure, transport and access • Solar panels on unused industrial roofspace would be preferable to using productive farmland"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Susan Nuttall
"1. Environmental I feel that it will be detrimental to the biodiversity of the area, with unnecessary disturbance. 2. Highways The plan will cause major disruption to the local roads. 3. Safety I am concerned regarding the safety of the large battery storage unit at Burwell. 4. Employment It does not provide employment for local people. 5. Sunnica Why are we allowing a Spanish company to put this plan forward when they will take the profits from this area. I feel that this is such a large gamble that we are not sure what the outcome will be."
Members of the Public/Businesses
William Haggas
"It is vital that the future of Newmarket as the World's greatest Racehorse centre is preserved and nurtured and not destroyed forever by this hideous proposal"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Zoe Sarah Crowley
"I am against the Sunnica solar farm application for the following reasons: It is too close to residential properties - Whilst I am not against the idea in principle, it is the location of this site that concerns me. The introduction of this site will have a detrimental effect on the price of properties as will destroy the current views. The size and scale of this site seems excessive and will have a huge impact on the local landscape. The size of the panels will be hard to disguise with screening/trees and will be an unnecessary eyesore Disruption to the wildlife, landscape and green areas will be significant. The risk of battery storage/fire hazards implications are great, which have been witnessed on other sites. The traffic that will be needed to construct these sites will greatly effect the local areas, commutes/school runs and will create ongoing disruption to the areas/business's. The loss of farm land, local produce opportunities."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anthony Balladares
"Reduction in house prices, impact on wildlife, noise pollution, fire risk giving off toxic fumes, high security fencing and flood lighting will be seen from the Marina, line of river and our tranquil way of life will be lost forever, loss of local heritage, loss of prime growing soil, heavy volume of large vehicles on our country roads, no meaningful local employment, Spanish owners will sell back electricity at a higher price, They will be using Chinese componants. Sunnica has no experience of building this on such a vast scale. It will be the size of 2227 football pitches with 15 miles of cabling and 30 miles of fencing, is this really necessary as it will have a huge impact on the locality..please do not let this project go ahead in this area"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Antony Vornell
"the area is too large. (Biggest construction yet) it is on land which will not be available for food production, when we need to mport less food. Coutreside will be lost with no garantee of restoring it when the project is over. (40 Years) Habitat loss for many species. The country roads will be busy with consruction traffic and dug up for cables. Stonage batteries will be a fire danger. They are close to homes, and produce poisonas gasses if they are on fire. The scmeem is to buy cheep electricity form the grid and seel it back at peak times at a profit for overseas owners. it uses imported panels at a great Carbon cost, oing nothing for UK industry. The comsultation has been inadiquate. Sunnica has not arnswerd questions at open meetings."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Arthur Rivett
"I wish to express my concern for the bat habitats along the U6006 Badlingham Lane. 1. My bat survey of the 11th August 2021 shows the importance of the U6006 Badlingham Lane for bats, including the old pine trees and hedgerows along the central section where at least seven different species of bat were identified. 2. Many of the old trees offer potential roosting sites for bats, including the old pine trees which are listed as "less likely to be a significant constrain to development [subject to detailed tree survey]" in the Sunnica bat report. 3. The whole length 0f the U6006 Badlingham Lane is a vital corridor for bats commuting between roosting sites and foraging areas in the surrounding countryside. It is therefore important that none of the trees and hedgerows are removed and any crossing points are kept as narrow as possible."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christine Butcher
"I feel that there are better ways of producing electricity than by covering good farmland that we need to feed the nation with fields of solar panels. Solar panels would be better sited on roofs of factory units and new build houses. The batteries I understand are highly toxic how will that affect the people in the proximity long term"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Deborah Fletcher
"The scale of this project turns a country area into a vast desert of panels and destroys the reason why we wanted to live here. No objection to a much smaller project. Fearful for migrating birds (who are such apart of the wildlife of this area) mistaking large reflective area of solar panels for water and crashing into them. Really worried that Sunnica can't produce evidence to convince us of the safety of the big batteries. We know (Grenfell cladding for example) about what happens when profit is put before people's safety. New homes are still built in this village without solar panels on roofs so why doesn't the Govt. do more on a manageable scale instead of this vast development?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Debra N. Harley
"I am opposed to this application for the following reasons 1. I’m worried about the use of so much good quality arable land for this purpose. 2. I’m worried about the battery storage units being sited too close to local houses. 3. I’m worried about the battery storage units catching fire and the noise they produce. 4. I’m worried about the effects of this scheme on the wildlife. 5. I’m worried about the amount of concrete that is to be used. 6. I’m worried about the environment in this area. 7. I don’t see any benefit to this scheme. Ie. No additional employment etc. I believe there are alternatives to this proposal. There are hundreds of homes with nice sun facing roofs, could we not utilise these instead? I would be willing to rent my roof for a cheaper electricity bill."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ed Mayall
"Making use of as many of the sun’s photons as possible can only be a good thing. However, when they fall on green fields, they are already being converted to usable energy, and at higher efficiency than is possible with even the best photovoltaic cells. There is so much ‘dead’ area available: the rooves of factories, warehouses and farm buildings; every new build should have a roof that is just PV cells – no tiles needed; and I’m sure the technology exists to allow roads and footpaths to generate solar electricity. Further: how about putting weather shelters with PV panels over parking spaces at supermarkets? The Sunnica ‘farm’ will do nothing to enrich the area or its population (apart from a few individuals who are in least need of further enrichment!). Putting aside the safety and obvious aesthetic concerns, this will destroy good farmland for decades for little benefit. Obviously, production of electricity must continue and clean sources are essential for any kind of future, but there are much better ways than destroying good agricultural land."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Edward Marriott
"I am [redacted] years old and interested in the future of my environment. I enjoy the area I live in. I want to be able to raise my own family in this area. This project concerns me on many levels. Where will our green spaces be? Many of the places I have enjoyed through my childhood will be gone. I worry about the possibilities of fires within these projects. Hazardous fires could occur. Many of the materials needed will be imported from China at huge cost to the environment. My generation are being told to care about the planet and our environment, yet this is put on our doorstep. It makes my generation feel there is no hope."
Non-Statutory Organisations
Fordham Cambs Walking Group
"I wish to register as an Interested Party to raise objections regarding walking and cycling routes together with public safety matters regarding battery storage. I am a retired town planner resident in Fordham where I run a walking group of 135 members as well as memberships of other walking and cycling groups. There is an opportunity to improve the sustainable benefits of the proposals by a more thoroughgoing assessment of, and response to, local needs. The current assessment and mitigation are considered to be inadequate in relation to routes for horseriding, cycling and walking. The missed benefits relate to climate change, health and sustainable transport. The four permissive routes currently proposed are very short and do not significantly improve the local network. I have undertaken an assessment of the local highway, footpath and bridleway network in relation to the Sunnica land. I have identified a number opportunities missing from the Sunnica assessment and would like to share my evidence with the Inquiry. There is a lack of definitive safety standards for battery storage installations of the scale proposed giving rise to an unacceptable risk to public safety."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Frances Stanley
"I would like to register an objection to the proposed SUNNICA project. Although we have a Newmarket county address we actually live next to the A14/A1303 at CB80XA. We breed thoroughbred horses at the very high end of the business. A great selection of our mares are visiting stallions such as FRANKEL (cost £200,000 ) or DUBAWI (£cost £200,000) as such they are very valuable assets which are entrusted to our care by their owners. I understand that the Batteries used by these large solar panel farms have shown to have an impact on fertility of horses. This would obviously have a dire impact on our business. I also understand that the Government has not done the due diligence on the self combustion of these batteries and the fire service do not at present understand the challenges in extinguishing battery fires. I am not a NIMBY but feel that SUNNICA is misplaced due to a population boom in our area. Cambridge is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK and it would be deemed unsafe to build houses near to these Batteries in the future. I very much opposed the way that I understand SUNNICA has not been open with their communications and disingenuous with their information. If you are trying to undertake this type of extremely large scale scheme it must be with the blessing of the local community where you have to win "hearts and minds" and communicate with them not ignore letters, not turn up at meetings and hope that the locals will go away which is what I understand has happened in this case. I very much hope that this does not get allowed to progress any further and a site away from a dense population is found as we do need to look at more sustainable energy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Geoffrey Mitchell
"In today's world good agricultural land should be used for the production of food and not for solar. There is plenty of poor grade land that can be used for solar and the land designated in the plans is mostly good quality and should be used for food. The size of the project is many times larger than any other solar farm and will impinge on many communities not just during construction but for the entire life of the project. The current plans will cause many problems in the surrounding villages with the construction traffic and servicing traffic once completed. he size of the planned 'battery store' is too large and a severe threat to the local communities. The benefits to the local communities are minimal from a work point of view. I have reviewed the the company structure behind Sunnica which is complicated but mostly consists of the same people and there is little evidence of the competence of the people concerned to carry out such a large project. Overall, I am pro solar and a project more in line with the normal size of solar farm, situated on poor agricultural land would be good but this project is too large with many potential problem and situated on land that is far more valuable to this country in food production."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Heather Dawn Palfrey
"Sunnica Solar Battery Farm( Plant) This being so large it will make an ugly blot on the landscape.I am not totally against it but perhaps it could be made smaller.I do appreciate we need other forms of energy especially these days with the global fuel problems.Will it be safe for the health of people living in the area.?What will happen to the wild life ,farm animals and Horses.? How long will it take to build? with all the extra vehicles (lorries) on small country roads? once it is built you are talking of a time frame for it to be used but I don`t think it will ever come down or make the area good again. I am thinking you will try to hide it and make the area look as good as possible with the planting of Trees and Bushes. [redacted]"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Henry Marriott
"I oppose this huge project as do not want my environment destroyed. Why choose this place for such a huge project? As [redacted] year old I have been taught to look after our planet and treasure green areas. My local environment is now under huge threat. I enjoy country walks, bikes rides etc. This seems at risk. This seems to be such a large project in the most inappropriate area. Destroying wildlife, communities and much treasured green land. It seems a project driven by monetary gain without thought of the human cost. Please reconsider the scale of this project and take into account the views of the people directly affected."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jackie Badcock
"Panels are likely imported from China - we must support UK companies and products. Over 100 acres of concrete will be laid - impact on drainage Farmland will be destroyed No local employment benefit Fire Hazard issues which can lead to poisonous gases Local specie habitat will be destroyed Could end up creating a larger carbon footprint that it 'saves' Profits from Sunnica can end up in Spain for their spanish owners - we need to keep Britain profiting not sending hard earned monies out of the country."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jane Marriott
"I object to the importation of these panels from China. Slave labour likely and importation effect on climate. The project is of NO benefit to the local community. We will lose a huge amount of our green countryside. Wildlife will be destroyed. The project is larger than any other UK one. Why here in the middle of countrysides and villages? The green land is needed to agriculture and the residents wellbeing."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Alexander Leitch
"Objections to Sunnica Energy Scheme Inadequate Consultation Sunnica faced envelopes were not fully represented during the consultation period. Why did Booklet maps have Town and Village names removed? Booklet print used a grey print medium which was difficult to read. Sunnica’s Statutory Consultation was age discriminate. The use of the Covid Umbrella to force a non-representation by Sunnica at the Statutory Consultation shows a disinterest to engage with the affected communities. The Statutory Consultation was a monumental failure. Battery Storage Concern of the size and operation of the Lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). Proximity to residential development, schools and major trunk roads Why are Bess battery storage systems not covered by the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations? Visual Appearance The influence of Climate change now, questions the choice of what is planted now to sustain 40 years of growth. The proposed Bess (Battery Energy Storage Systems) compounds and ground mounted Solar Arrays will cause significant damage to the visual amenity. Environmental Impact Wildlife habitat is under a major threat from noise and pollution. Loss of key Ground Bird Nesting habitat is under threat from relocation. Size and Scale Within a 15-mile radius of the Sunnica proposed development, there are already multiple ground mounted solar photovoltaic farms. Phased in schemes over time of smaller developments allows for advances in technology to be taken advantage of. Sunnica will be a “locked in time” construction that allows for no further advancement in green technology. Suffolk Heritage Piling for panel supports will affect our archaeological heritage. Land access to construction traffic will transform our Breckland landscape and subject it to wind erosion and air turbulence. Infrastructure Concerns over suitability for classified and unclassified roads to support construction traffic and Abnormal Indivisible Loads (AIL’s) Carriageway damage from the construction phase will affect Kerb Stone Displacement, Man Hole Covers, Drainage Covers, Roadside Furniture, Soft Verge Erosion, Carriageway Markings and Frequency of Drain Clearance to avoid carriageway ponding and flooding. Community Benefit No Financial benefit to affected Communities. Reduction of access to PRoW (Public Rights of Way) is a direct loss of amenity value. United Kingdom Food Security Productive farmland needs to be protected to secure native food production. Land classification by DEFRA needs to be reviewed Project Scheme Failure Sunnica have no track record for managing a scheme of this size. Energy Trading Is the Sunnica scheme a solar efficient scheme or does it rely too heavily upon energy trading to survive? Energy trading incorporates fossil fuel, so not clean energy. Decommissioning Bond Should be up and running in year 1 with an annual review in line with inflation. The Decommissioning Bond must be “Ring Fenced” for security. Grant To Extend Sunnica The grant to extend the “scheme” after 40 years should be referred to the local planning Authority for re-approval. Land Classification How will the current land proposed under the Sunnica Scheme be classified after 40 years?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Berrett
"I believe that the proposed solar farm is far too close to villages in Suffolk and could easily be moved to areas reasonably nearby where there are few if any settlements."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Butcher
"It would take months to digest all the paperwork I went to look at at the Mildenhall Hub. The area we are in would be covered with fields of solar panels and taking good agricultural land that is needed for growing food. As so much land is being taken by large housing projects would it not be more sensible to have solar panels on all new builds. The Battery sites which are highly toxic are of concern ,how would that affect the environment and people around the villages. We think this is not a good area to to do this and we have enough environmental disturbance with the American airbase"
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Fry
"The amount of HGV traffic through the villages at present is a concern but will be nothing compared to the traffic coming through if this proposal goes ahead. Each site is huge and traffic will need to come via Fordham to get to each one. i would also add that the village roads are B roads and not really suitable for large numbers of HGVs. Some will be C roads or single track even less suitable. There will also be considerable disruption on all local roads as they will require works to lay cables. I also object to giving up swathes of arable land as this will be sorely missed given the current crisis of Russia invading Ukraine. I realise energy is important with the embargo on Russian fuel but food is more important. Why did they not consider building in a less populated area with poor soil?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jon Ray
"I think it is an absolutely brilliant ifea. We need as much renewable energy as possible. Solar with battery storage is a perfect solution, with low impact."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julia Sizer
"The Sunnica proposal must be stopped. The huge amount of land they wish to cover with solar panels is prime arable farmland. The population of the UK need to grow more of our own food in this part of the country. Covering the area with solar panels would be a crime."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Karen Balladares
"Noise pollution, over 2000 heavy goods vehicles on roads during construction, footpath access limitations,impact on wildlife,if battery storage catches fire it cannot be put out giving off toxic fumes, cause a reduction in house prices, good growing fen soil will be lost, local heratige will be lost, high security fencing and flood lights will be seen from the Marina where I live, huge carbon footprint, line of the river and our way of life will be lost forever,no meaningful local employment, Chinese componants and Spanish owners,at 2500 acres it is way too big for this area. We don’t want it here please take it elsewhere don’t let this planning application go through."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Kate James
"My concerns are the size, location and possible dangers of the battery station particularly as it is so close to my home and business. The panels being built along the entire width of 2 of our boarders. The implications it will have on our business and livelihood both during and after construction. The devaluation of our property The amount of good productive arable land that will be lost. The impact on the wildlife and particularly mine and my family’s mental health."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lynda Brereton
"As an educationalist, former agricultural scientist, dog Walker and home owner near the proposed Sunnica site, I have very strong feelings that the proposal would be extremely detrimental to the environment, both to the villages and to the extremely fertile surrounding arable landscape, the local economy, and to the mental health and well-being of the many thousands of residents who live within and around the proposed site."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Brenda Knowles
"I OBJECT TO THIS PROPOSAL Because of Covid restrictions Sunnica have held Virtual consultations this has meant that MANY people have not been able to take part, and good dialogue has not been achieved. I recognize the need to take swift action in order to slow climate change, but this scheme risks destroying the very environment that we are trying to preserve. This area is part of the region that supplies over 37% of vegetables in the UK. Approx. 1,630 acres of arable farmland has already been taken by renewable energy schemes. This extra 2,792 acres of good agricultural land would mean even more food imports, thus further increasing our carbon footprint, and making us even more reliant on other countries for food. South facing commercial rooftops and brown field sites should be used before losing valuable food producing land. The damage and removal of the many established trees and hedges will be devastating for the many species of wildlife that live in them. However many trees and bushes are replanted they will not be there for the wild life when their homes are taken away. The wildlife will be long gone before the new habitat is established. The proposed development site runs over a groundwater Source Protection Zone, used for public water supply. This will be particularly susceptible to contamination from possible leaching of the toxic elements within the panels if they are damaged by for example, stones, storms, flying debris, etc. I understand some birds drop stones on the panels. The planned battery power unit will be the current largest in the world, is that safe, knowing that they can catch fire and are known to be explosive cannot easily be extinguished and release toxic gases. From the Battery unit proposed sites and the normal wind direction, these gases would be blown by the wind over residential areas thus causing mass evacuation at what cost to life, lives and industry. When there is no wind and the atmosphere is heavy or misty the fumes would then be stifled and travel along the ground covering a greater area and causing even greater risk The many heavy vehicles that will be used to build this proposal will find it very difficult, and in places impossible, to pass each other, and other vehicles, on the miles of narrow roads that they will be travelling on. Causing much damage to the edges of the road and in places where there are banks on both sides of the road possible accidents. The danger to pedestrians on these roads is unthinkable as there are few footpaths, and where there are footpaths it is not unusual for wide vehicle to have to mount kerbs when meeting another vehicle. What is the best use of this arable land, to grow food, or to build solar panels? Solar panels can be fitted on roofs; can food be grown on a roof? The amount of new homes being built indicates the extra amount of food we will need."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs J M Naylor
"I feel that as world supplies of food are under pressure the use of land should be for Agricultural purposes for the next generations, not for the growth of Solar Panels (imported from China), the concrete used and fencing surrounding what could be a very dangerous site plus cabling and another 'bolt-on' to the Burwell sub-station. Why is a Spanish Company being allowed to do this?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Knowles
"I OBJECT to Sunnica’s solar energy scheme because of:- The lack of Public consultations by Sunnica, being unethical, relying on electronic consultation as an alternative to public meetings; this prevented those without the means, to take part. This huge scale development, on 2,600+acres of productive farmland, in a region that produces over 37% of UK vegetables, would be contrary to Government guidelines, that “ground-mounted solar farms should be sited on brownfield sites”; will deprive UK of arable farm land, thus future food security. The Battery storage units proposed, their risk of failure and sites, it is well documented that at times of fire, they release toxic gases, become explosive, cannot easily be extinguished. Yet Sunnica proposes to put 3 of these large constructions, close to roads, school and villages. Solar panels micro climate being sited close to major underground gas pipeline! Industrialising the countryside, for this huge scale scheme instead of using roofs and Brownfield sites; gives scant consideration to our Government’s statements, about preserving our countryside! Increasing the UKs dependence on food imports; thus increasing our carbon footprint. Trees, Hedges being removed, Wildlife and their habitats, attempting to relocate these established habitats, will deprive of their inherent enjoyment and will have disastrous consequences for the species within them and cause irreversible damaged to this areas biodiversity. The Intended screening, being a poor substitute, using tree saplings and landscaping that will not be fully effective for at least 10 years. Inefficiency inherent in the scheme, the carbon footprint used for construction sites materials, Sunnica’s sub- contractors, solar panels manufactured by impoverished people of foreign country, transporting to the UK; solar being one of the most inefficient energy sources, this scheme will produce little net gain. Inappropriate decommissioning bond leaves future generations the cost of removal. Traffic disruption during the estimated 2 year construction phase, will create mayhem on local narrow ‘B’ and unclassified roads, where it is already impossible for a car to pass oncoming Lorries, without driving up onto rough grass verges. Safety, Pedestrians presently, walk in the road where no footpaths or verges exist! Noise and Dust disturbances, due to massive increase in vehicle, movements, during the construction phase. My enjoyment of nature during my byway walks, being lost to the surrounding 2.5 metre high solar panels The detrimental effect this huge industrial development will have on my health and local environment. The effects on strategic aircraft from nearby RAF and USAFE Stations. Comment: Government Planning, Agricultural, Environment and Energy departments would benefit from working closer together to achieve harmonious carbon neutrality. Summary: I recognise that we need to take swift action to slow climate change. I am also in favour of solar panels and other renewable energies, but this scheme is too large and will destroy the environment that we are already trying to preserve, so a poor scheme for the UK to invest in, to become carbon neutral by 2050."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Philippa Wiggin
"I strongly object to this application on the basis the damage to environment, good arable land being taken out of production when we most need it. We need more crops grown in this country not less - we need to stop importing food and flying food here."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Robert Horton
"I live in a cottage on La Hogue farm immediately adjacent to one of the proposed large areas of solar panels and battery storage units which form part of the Sunnica Energy Farm proposal. I also work at La Hogue Farm Shop as their head butcher. I object to the Sunnica Energy Farm scheme for the following reasons:- 1. During the construction phase of the energy farm (which will last approximately 2 years) there will be a huge number of vehicle movements down the very narrow access road which leads to my cottage and workplace. This will be incredibly dangerous for both myself, my colleagues and customers trying to reach my farm shop & café 2. I believe that the inconvenience caused by the construction phase of the scheme will deter customers from visiting the farm shop and will have a major adverse impact on turnover and profit of the business possibly leading to my employers having to reduce staffing numbers 3. I am very concerned and by how close the proposed battery storage units are going to be to my home and to the business I work for (only one field away from the boundary) and the potential for these to catch fire and pollute the local area 4. Ground mounted U.K. solar energy generation is a grossly inefficient way of generating energy and completely insignificant in contributing to U.K. power generation capacity. 5. The current crisis in the Ukraine has illustrated the fact that we should not put our food security at risk by using up good agricultural land"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Robert Owens
"To much farm land being used which could then become a brownfield site after 40years The solar panels will probably be imported from China No local benefits during and after construction The battery storage much to near to local housing and school, new housing now being developed see local plan We should learn from the Australian battery fire which released poisonous gas, This proposed development is not a green vision but an industrial solar plant that will devalue our housing stock in my area and just provide profits for sunnica’s Spanish owners"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Danni Dykes on behalf of Sir Michael Stoute
"I am objecting the proposal of destruction to 2,500 acres of beautiful farmland, home to hundreds of species of wildlife, with no benefit to the local community. This will completely ruin the landscape of the prestigious home of horseracing and devastate the environment. The scheme plans to destroy the picturesque landscape of the historic Newmarket gallops and this beautiful piece of countryside will be lost. There is no guarantee of the land returning to the agricultural use once the scheme ends. This is currently good quality irrigated vegetable growing farmland, providing a local source of food which we cannot afford to lose. When it becomes a ‘brownfield’ site at the end of the project, it could become a development site. We certainly don’t want that. Even if it is returned to farmland, after batteries and solar panels have covered it, how fertile will the soil be? Not only will there be no local employment benefit from the scheme but the profits wouldn’t even be put back into the UK. The only beneficiary will be the Spanish owners of Sunnica. There is a huge carbon footprint involved with shipping all the materials from around the world to set it up, so the idea of it being ‘green’ is ridiculous. This scheme would be far better suited to a sunnier climate for the solar panels to be most effective."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chippenham Parish Council on behalf of Sue Blazey
"I am very concerned about the size and scale of this proposed development. I am also concerned about the large battery storage facility and its safety, especially so close to residential areas. I am worried about the loss of wildlife and biodiversity. I do not believe this scheme is appropriate for this area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Susan Evans-Smith
"I am unhappy about the immense size of this project and it’s effects on the environment. The scale of the battery sizes is also very worrisome. I am not against solar energy but the size of this site is ludicrous."
Non-Statutory Organisations
The National Horseracing Museum
"I have grave concerns about the suitability of the Sunnica Energy Farm which is being presented to the local community on its green credentials in which there are several flaws. Not only is it taking over 2,500 acres of extremely valuable farm land which could be producing food for our country, even more crucial to the UK needs and economy as a result of the current situation in Ukraine. The land is unlikely to be returned to its former agricultural use after 40 years, but will become a brownfield site, ripe for development. I understand there will be no meaningful local employment as it is to be built by a company from Yorkshire. The 77 acres of battery energy storage compounds (BESS) which are to be built close to residential homes will create a real and significant risk to the community. In the event of fire, the poisonous gases created, lethal in the tiniest of amounts will wreak untold devastation on the health and lives of the families in those homes. Newmarket is a small rural town, it is one of very few single industry towns left in the country today and the town’s major employer is the racing industry. The proposed Sunnica Energy Farm would surround the heathland of Newmarket, preserved for the past 350 years for the training of racehorses, the impact of this farm would be devastating for the future of the heathland and in turn the racing industry and the heath should be a protected site for future generations to enjoy. This scheme is an excellent example of BAD solar and it should be stopped."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tina Abbott
"I am concerned about the impact on wildlife and vegetation in the area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tom Clover
"I fail to see how importing a million solar panels from China that will most likely end up in landfill environmentally friendly. The huge carbon footprint that manufacturing these panels from 5,000 miles away will create is unconsidered, I don't agree with using cheap Chinese labour that's usually used in their manufacturing (China has a deplorable human rights record). And I don't agree to doing significant business with China, the country who unapologetically spread Covid 19 worldwide and is a strong ally of Russia. Quality English farmland should be used for growing crops, England is only 64% self sufficient in food. I don't agree with destroying a habitat with 100's of species. Solar panels would be better placed on industrial unit roofs."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tom Clover Racing
"Erecting a million solar panels close to Newmarket will have a detrimental effect to our business. Newmarket is an extremely popular town with beautiful surrounding areas. Ruining this will attract less people to the area, stunt growth and therefore will have a negative effect on property price's and business valuations throughout the surrounding area. Furthermore, the battery's to solar panels catch fire, they cant be put out and create poisonous gasses that can be lethal. There is a strong argument that these solar panels will have a huge carbon footprint as they are manufactured and imported from China, not making them environmentally friendly. The Sunnica project doesn't appear to be about creating sustainable renewable energy but about lining the pockets of the already wealthy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
William Jarvis
"As Chairman of the Newmarket Trainers Federation, and as someone who has lived in Newmarket for more than sixty years, I find the proposed development of Sunnica unacceptable. The lime kilns gallops and the surrounding area are an integral part of racing’s heritage and have been fundamental to the training and exercising of some of the world’s best thoroughbreds allowing them to compete in the most prestigious races worldwide. The proposed development would have a severe detrimental impact to the industry, a local industry which provides employment to over seven thousand people and an industry which provides entertainment and pleasure to millions."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Hopkins
"I live in the village and I am concerned about safety and house prices"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Angela Taylor
"I am a resident of Red Lodge and have many concerns about the Sunnica solar farm proposal. These include the use of increasingly vital agricultural land and the proximity to rural villages, and the impact on the countryside around them. My main concerns however relate to the battery storage areas and in particular the proximity to Red Lodge. There are known cases of these batteries catching fire and releasing toxic fumes. I am not confident that any mitigation plan created by Sunnica will ensure that the residents of Red Lodge and the many surrounding villages are safe should this happen. The representatives of Sunnica at a meeting at Red Lodge yesterday said that any toxic fumes would be below required levels, but I don't believe that is acceptable and I am not prepared to be part of their experiment with this technology. There is an elderly population and schools near to the proposed battery site and apparently no evacuation plan should the worst case scenario happen. I cannot believe that there isn't a more suitable site for the solar farm away from populated areas. Whilst I am in favour of clean energy production the location of this project is not acceptable."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ann Traher
"I attended the Sunnica consultation meeting at Red Lodge last night. I have no objection to solar power and renewable energy as this is the future. I object to the size and location of the batteries and the fact they could give us no information on them last night. It seems that State approval needs to be given before the final design of the batteries is finalised. I am concerned that in the case of a fire that the fire services may not know how to cope with this. Luke mentioned that there would be no concrete base as it would cost too much money so where does the fire water runoff go to? Lithium is not the most stable of elements I work in a lab where even very small lithium batteries have to have a special way of disposal. Lithium in mined in parts of the world using salt water depletion turning the water into fresh water. Not very environmentally friendly. He mentioned +96% of the land is low grade arable but around this area we grow potatoes, carrots and onions which need a higher grade soil. It is not good to come to an open forum without all the facts, figures and pertinent information at your finger tips. Luke did not cover himself in glory! I am an equestrian and ride my horse around the bridleways and roads of the locality I am concerned about the increase of lorries on rural roads over the 2 year construction phase. We ride along Bridleway TL690726 which is from Elms Road to Worlington also Bridleway Grid Ref: TL6807870967. Footpaths as well are going to be affected. Despite being asked what were the benefits beside business rates to the local community this was glossed over. I have seen the plans and there are some nice looking habitats this was not really expanded on. It is my choice to live in a rural environment, so I can enjoy dog walking and horse riding. It is good for mental health as seen by the many articles during the pandemic - what we dont want to see are rows and rows of solar panels. There is a small solar park alongside Chalk Hill and the A11 which we only know is there when the sun shines onto our car windows as we drive pass. The scheme is purported to be carbon neutral but will take 4/5 years to achieve this. Asked if importing grain to replace the cereal that is lost had been figured in to the calculation's it had not been. When decommissioned in 40 years time we cannot recycle solar panels and as for the batteries where will they go? I am pretty sure looking at Sunnica and its associated companies ie WSE Nottingham Lane Ltd etc they well not be here in 40 years. Communication in any discussion is key and it was a step in the right direction that representatives came to address the concerns of the local community. It was also apparent that the communication to one affected stud owner was very poor. I believe that you and the Government are speaking the same language which is different to the local councillors and local community."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris James Cooke
"Where are the panels coming from if china why can they not be made in Britain and has the carbon footprint been taken in to the equation. Will the concrete have an effect on ground drainage and is using the product economically viable. Will our freedom of walking and roaming be affected. Will it produce training and jobs for local people, assuming carbon effectiveness. Will the land be usable again after the lifespan of the solar panels have been used up. If not how is this measured in efficiency. What guarantees do we have of safety and will you be culpable if you fail. The size of area can only be for financial gain as the produce would far out way in every way the value of the solar panels."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Traher
"I would like to make the following representations. 1/ there are alternatives to using 2800acres of viable agricultural land 2/ There are alternatives to using huge non recyclable batteries 3/ there are better options to site such a development Why would it not be possible to using existing infrastructure to site locate panels e.g. using exiting car parks and covering them and installing SVP panels on too of those structures? Use homeowners houses to site the panels The environmental study did not assess accurately the potential harm of toxic fumes should any battery catch fire. Sunnica have not done their home work and our community will not be held up to such an installation Sincerely C. S Traher"
Non-Statutory Organisations
East Cambridgeshire Climate Aciton Network
"As a climate action group, in principle we support any renewable energy development that will help us wean our country off of fossil fuels. This is an urgent priority as if we are to succeed in de-carbonising our economy and preventing runaway climate change and the associated impacts of that such as flooding which Fenland as a region is very vulnerable to. Time is short to de-carbonise our energy system and reduce our exposure to volatile oil and gas prices, so while not a perfect scheme, we support the Sunnica development as a shovel ready project which will make a significant dent in our national clean energy targets. We note that alternative designs have been considered and presented to planning authorities over several years. Our preference would have been for more community led scheme or cluster of smaller community schemes but we recognise that the decision under David Cameron's government to cut the feed in tariff and alterations to the planning system have made smaller schemes less economically viable. It is vital that during construction and operation proper oversight is implemented by planning authorities and Natural England to ensure the mitigation relating to drainage, protecting local water quality and impacts on wildlife are implemented to a high standard. It should also be made a requirement to ensure any new overhead cables are fitted with wire markers to increase their visibility to birds who may otherwise collide with them. We note on page 89 of the EcIA that the areas of grassland between the panels are to be managed as species rich grassland for the lifetime of the scheme, this will likely benefit pollinator populations in the area indirectly benefitting local agriculture which is reliant on a healthy population of pollinating insects along with several red-listed ground nesting bird species. Any nest boxes for predatory birds should not be constructed near habitats managed to benefit breeding waders, ideally these areas should also be fenced off to prevent access by foxes which are a major cause of failed breeding attempts by ground nesting birds. We note that only one compensatory badger set is to be constructed, we do not deem this to be sufficient to compensate for the loss of active badger setts on the land. High bat potential trees should be retained within the scheme. Broadleaved woodland onsite should be retained and supplementary planting to repair existing hedgerows should be required. Lighting on site should be kept to a minimum to minimise disturbance to bats and nocturnally active birds. We do feel that the company could have done a better job of engaging with the community from the outset and offering more int he way of community benefits (more funding for parish councils and community groups for example). We also feel that the development should be linked up with the provision of more electric vehicle charging infrastructure which is severely lacking in the region."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Elizabeth Mary Garget
"MY LETTER OF OBJECTION TO THE PROPOSED SUNNICA FARM 1: SIZE I know that as a country we have to rethink our energy supply and usage, but this project is on such a ;large scale that it will change the area for ever. 2792 Acres when the average site is 100 acres. with 15 MILES of cables to the Burwell substation. 2: GOOD PRODUCTIVE FARM LAND will be taken out of use for 40+ years. At a time when it is greatly needed. The country needs food as well as energy. With NO GUARANTEES of who shall clean up the land after it its finished with. So leaving valuable countryside transformed into light industrial sites. 3: SAFETY 78 acres of lithium batteries with a poor safety record, all next door to housing estates and schools. with the possibility of contamination by air, water course and ground contamination. 4: IMPACT ON WILDLIFE. Destroying wildlife corridors for feeding, shelter and nesting, wildlife are having a very hard lime as it is without having to coup with this destruction of habitat as well. ONCE ITS GO ITS GONE. 5: VISUAL APPEARANCE, the village residence feel hemmed in by the 2 1/2 meter high wire fencing, with the solar panels and batteries clearly visible. Yes they may replant the trees and hedgerows, but these shall take at least 15 years to have an impact on on the visual appearance of the fencing and sola panels. 6: TRAFFIC, our small country lanes can not cope with such a larger volume and size of vehicles. the roads shall just turn into access roads for the sola farm. so causing inevitable damage for local residences, removing the character of the area with the proposed alterations to road junction's and widening to suit their needs. 7: IMPACT ON RESIDENCE Drop in house/property values loss of wildlife Visual appearance Hemmed in by solar Farm SAFTY Lithium batteries LOSS OF VERY PRODUCTIVE FARM LAND NO GUARENTEE who is responsible for clean up"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ellie Smith
"•The Sunnica scheme cannot be green. It will create more carbon in it's lifetime than it ever saves according to university analysis. This is due to its huge carbon footprint from importing panels and batteries from China. • The greenfield land being taken by Sunnica is good quality irrigated vegetable growing farmland which provides habitats for 100's of species. This will all be destroyed by Sunnica and cannot be restored. • There is no local benefit to the Sunnica scheme as there is no meaningful local employment. • Li-on BESS catch fire which create poisonous gases can be lethal in tiny amounts. • If this solar plant happens them the value of our property will be affected forever. This will be devastating for me and my partner as this is our very first home which we have worked so hard to get on the property ladder."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Emily Radcliffe
"I have a number of concerns about this development: 1. Inappropriate use of good farm land when food security for the UK is becoming an issue 2. The scale of the project is overwhelming and will dominate what is now countryside for miles 3. The battery banks are designed to make money by storing electricity at night and selling by day. Not principally storage of solar energy. They are hence over designed and dangerous 4. Consultation in our village was held before our village was included in the plans so our views have not been included in the consultation"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ethan Lewis
"- I feel that it will negatively effect the local area reducing the amount of local produce/locally grown food and supplies therefore increasing co2 emissions for the produce we buy. - if there was to be a fire this would put the local area in danger of potentially harmful emissions. - this could reduce house prices and reduce the desirability to live in the local area which would negatively effect us financially, would we receive compensation for this? - it will create more carbon emissions than it ever saves therefore just adding to global warming rather than having a positive effect on global warming."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Fergus Wright
"I am objecting this application. I understand that the UK is in need of energy and in particular there's a shift towards green solar and wind projects, however the SIZE of this project is unacceptable. It takes far too much farmland out of production. The majority of which is of excellent quality. It's unrealistic to suggest that a scheme of this size and nature can be carbon neutral. Thank you."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ashtons Legal on behalf of Godolphin Management Company Limited
"Godolphin is the global thoroughbred breeding operation and horseracing team founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It is an international operation and Team Godolphin spans across four continents, from their home in Dubai to Europe, Australia, Japan and America. Godolphin is the biggest international investor in Newmarket and continues to operate here because of the world class nature of the facilities within the economic cluster it has become. Godolphin strongly objects in principle to the provision of a solar farm in this location, as it believes that any planning benefits from this scheme are hugely outweighed by the significant harm it will have on the horse racing industry, with the potential to drive away further investors and deter potential owners who will see an essentially rural pursuit being blighted by the presence of a huge industrial complex. This will be particularly acute at the Limekilns where Godolphin works some of its best horses on gallops that are exceptional, possibly the best in the world. This historic setting, where some of the best racehorses in history have trained, will be forever blighted. Furthermore, the gallops at Snailwell are Godolphin’s main internal training facility and are used extensively all year round up to 10am each morning. The Gallops are located immediately to the west of W03 and W04 of Sunnica West Site A. W03 and W04 stretch the entire length of the Gallops and located next to the straight where the horses are at full gallop as they head north up the hill towards the brow. The horses using these facilities are highly strung, young thoroughbred race horses under training who spook easily with sudden and unexpected noise or movement in their peripheral vision. There is an existing planting belt between the application site and the Gallops, however it is essential that this planting belt is infilled in parts to ensure there is no view through from the Gallops into the site. A landscape masterplan has been submitted as part of the Development Consent Order (DCO) documents and in the event the Examiners are minded to approve the DCO then it is essential that this planting scheme is delivered as soon as practical. Given the propensity of the horses to spook, then within the Construction Environmental and Management Plan (CEMP) it has been stated that “Noisy works will not be undertaken until after 10:00 hours in the Work Areas close to Snailwell Gallops in Sunnica West Site A, specifically W03, W04 and EC05”. It is vital that this is complied with in order to protect the safety of the riders and horses when training along this part of the Gallops. Any sudden noise or movement from the application site that could cause them to spook suddenly, could have serious consequences. In short, Godolphin is strongly opposed to the Sunnica Scheme which will have a hugely detrimental impact on the racing industry in this historic setting. It should not go ahead. If it has to proceed, the planting and construction constraints listed above must be implemented."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Harry Eustace
"Newmarket has always been a unique and iconic center for racehorses, horse training and breeding. I have grown up in Newmarket my entire life and its beauty and industry have never failed to impress myself but in particular friends, clients and visitors who have never before experienced what Newmarket has to offer. I also train in Newmarket and the danger and risks involved are already a constant concern with the volume of traffic. The increased volume of traffic that the Sunnica Application would create will only cause the health and safety and the risks of our job involved even greater. Newmarket is a special place that would be in danger of being ruined if the Sunnica Application is approved."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lyndsey Rolfe
"Negative impact on the farming community in the proposed area of development would directly affect my work and income Using productive agricultural land for non-food production purposes - especially at a time when the country should be looking to increase its self-sustainability in the provision of food The huge carbon footprint of the materials required to create this project would surely not be off set by the energy it produces and is something I personally disagree with"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Marilyn Julia Badger
"The proposed site is far too large and in totally the wrong location. It is going on farm land and I thought that we needed all such land for crops etc. Surely, there are other sites more suitable, why was this location chosen ??? Would anyone from Sunnica like this in their back garden ?????? I think not. Think again Sunnica there must be other places which are more remote which would cause such protest."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mehreen Qayum-Millard
"I am pro renewable energy but not of this size in one place on farmland. 2500 acres of greenfield land with an immense impact to our countryside and farming land with no plans to restore to farming/countryside at the end of the 40years actually with no plans stated at all. The batteries alone will be the largest across Europe and Sunnica have no experience of dealing with something of this size. I have concerns about the safety of the batteries, catching fire is not unheard of and they cannot be put out. they release poisonous gases and I am a mother of 3 children in the area. This is very concerning. University analysis of the Sunnica scheme shows it cannot be 'green'. It will create more carbon in it’s lifetime than it ever saves. Sunnica hinders our pursuit of Carbon Zero by 2050"
Parish Councils
Moulton Parish Council
"Moulton Parish Council objects to the proposed solar scheme and supports the objections of its neighbours in Freckenham and Worlington. The plans for an array of solar photovoltaic panels and associated battery storage unit are inappropriate for the following reasons: The area of 1,500 hectares is excessive in the rural setting of West Suffolk and East Cambridgeshire. The impact through loss of amenity for the local communities will be long lasting, as will the loss of precious habitat for protected species. During construction communities will be subjected to excess noise and pollution which will be detrimental to the mental and physical well-being of residents. The visual impact cannot be mitigated in the short term. Government has plans to radically increase the generation capacity of offshore windfarms rendering this scale of power plant redundant (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-plans-to-make-uk-world-leader-in-green- energy Turning quality farmland into brownfield sites for 30 years is contrary to the growing need for sustainable food production without reliance on imported produce. This is particularly important at the moment with imports of wheat under threat due to the ongoing situation with Russia and Ukraine, and we are likely to need all the agricultural land available for food production. Local production will also reduce food miles. Storage battery fires are a potential threat to the environment. There is potential to damage archaeological heritage within the site. Proposed ecological mitigations seem to assume the species involved will relocate seamlessly to alternative areas without adverse effects on breeding. It is inappropriate to convert 1,500 hectares of agricultural land within its important rural setting into an industrial landscape. The project is contrary to the Government’s own guidelines on solar energy plants."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr L Cook
"Food,loss of prime agriculture land which is needed even more in these times,plus a great loss of natural wildlife. Noise pollution, These battery storage units buzz,the power station in Burwell is already large enough.also there is a safety issue as Sunnica has never built anything this big."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Malcolm A Pendery
"1. It is socially unacceptable to - import 1,000,000 solar panels from China which does not respect human rights - also deprives manufacturing job opportunities to British workers -2. Turning good agriculture land into permanent brown land replaced by imports and loss of jobs 3. British made panels to be installed on ALL commercial and appropriate domestic buildings 4. The existing panels and the supporting infrastructure blight the area. NO MORE. 5. There is only one motive for this project and that is so that Sunnica can make money and repatriate all its profits to Spain. 6. This project will significantly increase the UK's carbon footprint"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Hazel Fleet
"As a resident of the village of Isleham a daughter and daughter-in law of farming families I naturally have a great interest in the use of farming land and am very concerned about the development that is being suggested for the fertile land surrounding my village and other villages in this area. As a Christian I am also concerned for God’s beautiful world and the way in which our generation is spoiling it in so many ways. I recognise that as a nation we need to produce power for the ever developing technology and have had solar panels on my own home for about 10 years. I have various issues with this development :- 1. Why do we have to have solar power farms when surely a very efficient way would be to insist that any new build whether it is private or commercial be fitted with solar panels? 2. This project would use 2792 acres of agricultural land supplying food which we may desperately need in view of the present uncertainty and crisis in Europe, surely we need to preserve the capacity to produce our own food. 3. Windmills are a cheaper source of power and don’t cause the problems for the environment that these solar panels do. 4. Although I would rather not see the landscape blotted with solar farms is there not a better place to have them? e.g. land that is not fertile, that doesn’t produce much needed food. 5. I hear increasing stories of us importing from other countries fuel that is produced by methods that are not carbon-friendly and which pollute the atmosphere – is this ethical for us to do to achieve a carbon neutral country? 6. Why is this project over such a large area – three times the size of any other in the UK 7. What is Sunnica’s track record and are they using ethical sources for this project? 8. I am aware that there is a very real risk from the BESS batteries which have been known to explode and produce toxic gases. 9. The planned Solar farm is very close to a growing village with a primary school and the dangers of contamination to the atmosphere in the event of any accident is very real. 10. Who will be responsible for the clear up when the life of these panels is over, the large concrete bases, the panels, the recyclable components and the toxic waste: will Sunnica undertake disposal or would it go into landfill sites? 11. I understand that the panels will also contaminate the land they are on, which will in the future be useless and stand waste unable to produce anything for many years to come and also the rivers they adjoin and the large groundwater source which could be polluted if there are leaks from damaged panels or batteries. Please will you carefully consider my concerns and reject this plan thinking of other alternatives to produce the much needed energy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Paul Fishpool
"The size of the energy farm is too big - 11 times larger than any other operational site in the UK. There will be no local benefit from the scheme All the land proposed is high quality agricultural which not only produces food (of which the UK is only 54% sufficient) but also supplies a feed source for local Anaerobic Digesters which are all ready producing renewable energy. Sunnica needs to carry out another assessment on the land to justify how much food and energy will be lost if this energy farm goes ahead Habitats will be lost for 100 species and these panels will be visible for miles including from Newmarket gallops It will produce more carbon than it will save in its lifetime so why not continue to produce energy from the crops already grown Most of the land owners want to continue to grow food and energy for existing markets A lot smaller scheme would be acceptable"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Penelope McCalmont
"I am wholly against this application. It is a tragic misuse of good farmland and is completely inappropriate. Whist we all know there is a need for alternative means of generating power this is an ill thought out and greedy plan. The site cannot be lost to such a hideous and dangerous project. Apart from the eye sore that will be enormous, the type of equipment to be used is known to be unsafe and unreliable.This application should not ever be allowed."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Roland Sore
"I support renewable energy but am strongly against this scheme for the following reasons: 1) It is removing circa 2800 acres of agricultural land from the food production cycle. The UK is already not self-sufficient in producing it's own food and we cannot spare losing further land which in my view should continue to be used for producing food. 2) The scheme is too large, wraps round rural settlements and will dominate the landscape. 3) It will significantly change rural views and natural habitat 4) There will be a huge amount of disruption to the local communities during the construction stage and the rural roads have not been designed or constructed to cope with such heavy traffic and huge number of movements each day. 5) The BESS's (Battery Storage units) are also huge and the largest one is positioned close to a major road and a large residential development which includes at least one primary school. Not enough information is known or provided about this new and evolving technology nor in it's management/control should there be a fire / thermal overheat. This is a real concern to the local community given the risk of a toxic cloud and harm to human health. 6) Should the scheme be approved an understanding of the decommissioning process and how this will be funded is imperative. For example more research is required in the ability for solar panels to be re-cycled and an upfront cash bond to cover the cost of decommissioning should be made a condition of the DCO. 7) I would like to understand better the carbon neutral calculations and to see what sensitivity analysis has been done to factor in things like replacing the panels once they degrade and face obsolescence during the proposed 40 year lifetime of the scheme."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rowland Barry John Domvile
"The proposed Sunnica energy farm will be an eyesore ruining a beautiful bit of countryside. It is not necessary or desirable, and the building will be a terrible strain on the locals."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Kohl
"I object to this application. I have an interest in land and the community in Worlington. CONSTRUCTION: The 2 year construction phase will cause extended disruption to the village and roads. Our roads are not suitable for day to day intensive use by heavy vehicles or for the size of vehicles it has been suggested will be involved in construction work. I understand it might involve putting a traffic light at the junction with the Walnut Tree as the vehicles will be so big that they can't turn at the junction without taking up the whole road. THE SCALE: The sites are vast and will dominate the fields around Worlington and the nearby villages completely transforming the landscape. IMPACT ON FARMING: This is a community with rich arable land and this development will take that land out of production at a time when more self sufficiency in food production should be being prioritised. IMPACT ON WILDLIFE AND COUNTRYSIDE: I am also concerned about the impact of the development and the operation of the site on wildlife habitats. There are rural walks especially along green lanes which under the plans would end up flanked by the solar panels on each side and I assume would become damaged by construction traffic. OPERATION AND SAFETY: I am also concerned about the safety of the lithium batteries associated with the sites and the risk to our lives and health if they were to catch fire or explode."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Selina Boyce
"I object to the scheme for the following (and more if more evidence emerges): Battery storage safety - fire, water contamination and toxins Unsuitability of rural roads and bridges and safety of rural road users such as walkers and dog walkers, runners, riders of horses and bicycles including children A massive disruption to a rural way of life for many people. Decommissioning and resultant recycling concerns Taking agricultural land out of use Destroying local jobs connected with agriculture Lack of proper consultation with the public. It is hard to justify a scheme where the MPs for West Suffolk and East Cambs as well as Suffolk CC, W Suffolk and E Cambs DCs, local parish councils and the vast majority of local people are opposed to it"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Susanne Kohl
"I object to this application. CONSTRUCTION: The 2 year construction phase will cause extended disruption on our village and roads. Our roads are not suitable for day to day intensive use by heavy vehicles. It will affect my day to day living during construction with road disruption, more traffic and heavy vehicles on small rural roads. I understand it might involve putting a traffic light at the junction with the Walnut Tree as the vehicles will be so big that they can't turn at the junction without taking up the whole road. THE SCALE: The sites are vast and will dominate the fields around Worlington where I live and the nearby villages completely transforming the landscape. IMPACT ON FARMING: We live in a community with rich arable land and this development will take that land out of production at a time when more self sufficiency in food production should be being prioritised. IMPACT ON WILDLIFE AND COUNTRYSIDE: I am also concerned about the impact of the development and the operation of the site on wildlife habitats and on our lovely rural walks especially along green lanes which is currently a sandy lane. Under the plans this lane would end up flanked by the solar panels on each side and I assume would become damaged by construction traffic. OPERATION AND SAFETY: I am also concerned about the safety of the lithium batteries associated with the sites and the risk to our lives and health if they were to catch fire or explode."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Susie Wilson
"I am writing to object to the planned development of the Sunnica solar farm. I am not against the principal of solar energy however the plan for this development seems particularly ill considered. This is an area of beautiful wildlife and the destruction of it’s habitat cannot be ignored. In a time when food security should be uppermost in the Government’s mind, (it has been ignored for too long) I cannot believe they could possibly accept the destruction of this farmland in exchange for a solar farm. We all know the land will never be the same again if used for solar panels. On top of this, the area does not have the infrastructure to support the building of such a scheme and the knock on effect to the tiny villages is unacceptable. This is not an area for an industrial landscape and the solar farm would change the nature of this landscape forever. The Government should not have the authority to ruin so many lives, whether human or wildlife."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Amanda Brudenell
"This kind of solar energy is blighting East Anglia which already has more than its fair share. Is it not possible to find a more remote location to place these panels, without spoiling the natural beauty of The Limekilns and other local sites"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Amanda Prior
"I am writing to apples the 2,500 acre Sunnica Application tearing up beautiful farmland. The UK needs every acre of it’s available land to grow food to feed our swelling population and this development will eat into it."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anita A Howroyd
"I am considered about the impact on wild life and the purchase of land without consent If this site goes through its going to have such a impact on wildlife because of the fences the deer that roams around and the countryside will not be able to and have to go down rows which was more of a problem for the traffic of locals as well as farmers. The purchase of farmland to put solar panels on in my book is all wrong. We have lots of industrialry sites. We can put solar panels on roof as well as normal basic housing. The batteries that are supposed to sort store the power I'm not as safe as we would like them to be. As the times that we live in now we need to keep on growing our own crops on arable land which is first class. If this island is to become self-sufficient which is what everybody wants we going to have to stop using arable land to put houses on as well as solar panels wind farms. I know we need clean energy but this is not the way to go about it Should make it easier for the common person to be able to put green energy in their house by putting small solar panels little wind turbines to generate electricity for themselves without it being so costly."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anne Noble
"I have worked as an agronomist in this area for many years know that the land is capable of growing a variety of high value food crops. For this land to be taken out of production and replaced by solar panels simply does not make sense when food security is an issue for the UK. The land classification has not followed the correct methodology which means the land grading is questionable- particularly important as policy says BMV land should not be developed. The area of land in the UK growing many of these crops is limited by soil type so it will not be easy to simply gro We also have concerns over run-off from the panels causing eutrophication of the Lee Brook, a chalk stream with several rare species. The land to be used as archeological mitigation has also been designated as areas for the Stone Curlew mitigation. This site is opposite to an area of panels with a very busy road and pathway along two sides- this may not be suitable for the curlews and because of the panels they will need to forage for food over a wider area. The effects of a scheme this size on local biodiversity cannot be judged as there are no other schemes as This is a very poor example of a solar proposal."
Parish Councils
Burwell Parish Council
"Burwell Parish Council has no issues with the application. However we are concerned about the disruption that will be caused with the ground work/road work that will need to take place around Burwell in order to connect the solar farm to the sub-station in Weirs Drove Burwell. We are aware that some of our residents are opposed to the construction of the solar farm and will have no doubt submitted their own representations."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Celia Clarke
"I am a village girl who has lived in Isleham all my life and then married and became a farmers wife. We farmed Isleham land all our working life which has very rich and productive soil and provided good crops which provided food for this country and abroad. It seems just madness to cover all this productive soil with SOLAR PANELS!! when half the world is starving. So I am urging you to turn down this application from Sunnica Solar and Battery Plant please. The safety aspects are very worrying too as well as destroying all the natural habitat for all the wild life that we see every day."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christian Wall
"I am objecting to the proposed solar farm for the following reasons. I write as a resident of Newmarket for over 40 years, as a racehorse trainer based in that town, as chairman of the heath committee which oversees the running of the training grounds and as a former president of the national trainers federation. Newmarket is at the centre of the international Horseracing industry and it possesses some of the finest training grounds anywhere in the world. The best of these and of global repute is the Limekilns. Looking across the gallops to the farm land beyond is a joy and to have to look at an industrial site will detract considerably from the aesthetics and ambience of the whole area. I regularly exercise my horses on a bridle path adjacent to the Chippenham Estate, an activity that I will be denied both during construction and beyond to the detriment of my business as a whole. During construction the roads and lanes in this peaceful area will be destroyed by the weight of traffic and be unsafe for people going about their business in this area. Removing high quality agricultural land from production is sheer folly at any time and particularly in the current economic and political climate. Aiming to considerably reduce the nation's carbon footprint is commendable but it has to be multi layered. Taking land out of production means that the produce will have to be sourced elsewhere, most likely from overseas which means actually increasing the carbon footprint. The land earmarked for this scheme, in addition to being productive farmland, is also abundant in wildlife from large mammals like red and roe deer down to hares (increasingly under threat), stoats, weasels and the humble mice and voles. Along with many species of birds and insects it is in short an asset to the nations wildlife. With farmers being encouraged to set aside land for the benefit of nature this scheme has to be the very antithesis of that. Close to the overall site are many sites of national importance for nature. Lakenheath Fen has the nations largest population of the very rare Common Crane. Welney Wash is an internationally important wetland reserve, Chippenham Fen is an ongoing project to restore land to its original form. All these sites designated for development are prime habitat for the Stone Curlew, a protected and rare species of bird found only in the Breckland. Fencing off the land and creating a monoculture of man's creation is not the way forward. In short an industrial site of vast proportions in the middle of a rural area is destructive and completely counter to a central tenet of Government policy."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Campbell Rankin
"To comment that the justification for using the highlighted arable land for this project as it is not suitable for good crop production is an inaccuracy at the very least. The term marginal is used. This could not be further from the truth. Large chunks of the proposed land is very suitable for a wide range of crop production such as grains, oilseeds, pulses, and various root crops. I whole heartedly oppose this proposal."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Roitman
"The amount of farmable land being covered by this plan that is perfectly usable to grow crops and the the storage facility for the batteries have been given no thought to the community around it"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Alastair Burn
"My interest is in two aspects of the biodiversity considerations in this proposal: 1) the baseline used in estimating "net gain" and the extent to which the existing biodiversity value of the farmland near to Isleham (see eg the avian studies provided in the application) has or should be taken into account in estimating "net gain" for biodiversity 2) the mitigation proposals for breeding stone curlew, and the extent to which this can be guaranteed (including necessary land management, freedom from disturbance etc) during and after construction, and into the future."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Elizabeth Coupe
"Totally against this monstrosity. I agree more green projects and means of green energy need to happen but not in top of an expanding village full of young families. There are two schools next to it also. I am not entirely convinced that there are no health impacts resulting from this type of installation as they are quite new. Things I have read about include toxic fumes when batteries catch on fire and that the occurrence of battery fires it common, more common than most would think. Equally, the battery life is pretty short. Green energy surely not, 20yr life and then a new one is required multiplied by however many units there are - are the old ones recyclable! Who ‘pays’ to replace them - I suspect it’s the local environment and landscape as it may well be cheaper to set up a new site given the time etc to replace them. That’s not environmentally friendly. What about destroying all that farmland too… My list goes on. I don’t want it, my family doesn’t want it and the village does not want it! Our quite little village has been ravaged enough by the massive developments over the past decade, it’s time to leave us alone!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Elizabeth Jane Orde-Powlett
"I strongly object to the Sunnica proposals. Food Production. To use 2,500 acres of good agricultural land producing essential food, particularly in view of the Ukraine situation, cannot be defended. Likely Brownfield site. It is very unlikely that the land would be able to be returned to agricultural use after 40 years, leading to massive housing/industrial development. This would be disastrous in such a rural area. Carbon footprint. We are all trying to cut our carbon emissions to comply with government targets, and this will most probably create more carbon than it can save. Safety. I am extremely concerned about the safety of this development. It will be the largest of its kind in the world and there are associated worries about the huge storage facilities being near to housing and the lack of experience on the part of the development company. Golf Club. I have been a member of the Royal Worlington and Newmarket Golf Club for 70 years and it will hugely distressing to see the course and the Club itself ruined by the development and the associated construction work. It is a unique golf course and is rated among the best in the world. 130 years of golf history would be sacrificed for huge profits to be made by a Spanish company with very little benefit accruing to local concerns and employment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Frances Mary Taylor
"I am objecting to the Sunnica Scheme on the following grounds 1. already exisintg and under construction solar farms in the area doing away with valuable farming land when we are facing huge food shortages in the near future. 2. Destruction of wildlife habitats 3. increase of local traffic and closing of footpaths, cycle routes during construction 4. Hazards involved in storing grid scale batteries 5. No provision for long term future of this valuable land 6. Compulsory purchase of land causing huge distress and disruption and legal costs which people cannot afford"
Non-Statutory Organisations
Friends of Isleham Nature Reserves
"Friends of Isleham Nature Reserves wishes to express their concern over the loss of, and disruption to, habitat which will be caused if the Sunnica Energy farm is given planning consent. There is much wildlife in the area and the widespread nature of Sunnica, including the long cable corridors, will remove and disturb many existing habitats. Despite the promises of new habitat creation it will take many years for these to become established. On top of the lengthy construction period this may result in loss of some species from the area – including stone curlew. We are also concerned that the Lee Brook , a chalk stream, will become polluted by run-off from the panels, leading to eutrophication and loss of some rare specis. The noise from the associated equipment may disturb invertebrates as well as humans in the vicinity. The possibility of toxic fumes should one of the batteries fail could result in pollution of a wider area. Food sustainability and food miles are often discussed, to meet the demands of a growing population areas which produce good quality crops must be maintained for food production. Crops grown in this area cannot be grown successfully on all soil types with the possible result that produce is imported. We feel this is a poor use of valuable land."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gavin Hunter
"This is a waste of good agricultural land which could provide food for the uk and would prevent the needs of importing similar foodstuffs. The land is approached by small country roads which are unsuitable for large HGV vehicles and cranes which will be needed to set up the panels and it will destroy the villages that the lorries will pass through. The battery plants are too near to houses and schools. It will impact on the setting of a major horse racing centre in Newmarket which provides many jobs in the area. In short the plan is far too large and will destroy village life in villages on the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gay Jarvis
"I have lived in Newmarket for over 40 years and am very upset to see this proposal. Newmarket is a beautiful areas and the racing industry is a centre of excellence across the world. It will be hard to encourage investment and people to have their horses trained here when the iconic Limekilns and Waterhall Gallops are surrounded by ugly solar panels. The villages such as Snailwell and Worlington would be ruined and people's property values shattered. I understand the argument for renewable energy but this is not 'green'. The panels are shipped from China. The only people benefitting from this are Sunnica and the landowners involved."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Greenvale
"I intend to object to the proposed solar energy farm. I am Potato Procurement Manager for Greenvale AP one of the leading suppliers of potatoes in the UK. I buy potatoes from land in and around the area that this proposal covers and can confirm that this land is of a suitable quality to grow good quality potatoes."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Isabel Cross
"I object to the Sunnica application and how it will impact my community Scale: This solar/industrial plant is ridiculously large, covering approx. 2,500 acres greenfield and prime food-producing land and blanketing several villages. • It will have significant impact on local communities when compared to multiple smaller sites across the country. • This location already has several renewable energy schemes operational or granted within a 15mile radius generating 450MGW, it is not appropriate to burden these communities further. • Spreading the scheme in-between villages increases need for extensive cabling and (<35miles) perimeter fencing amplifying the impact on the greatest number of people and settlements. • Every route in/out of some villages will be impaired. • Informal routes, paths and byways and recreation will be denigrated. Landscape will be transformed from traditional open agricultural area with visual connectivity to neighbouring villages to industrialised spaces dissecting our communities from each other. It could facilitate permanent land classification change at project end, altering landscape and cultural heritage of the area and national equestrian heritage forever. Grid-Scale BESS (Batteries): Lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to thermal runaway there is proof of catastrophic incidents; combustion of nearby structures, the emissions of quantities of highly toxic, life-threatening gases, such as Hydrogen fluoride. • BESS pose new and unique threats to communities, first-responders and wildlife. • Accidents are already occurring; 30 in the past two years globally, one in UK investigation withheld. (Orsted Liverpool 2020) • Other countries site Mega BESS Schemes away from people to mitigate known risk - No evidence is presented as to why more remote options for siting batteries have been excluded? • Engineering standards required to mitigate these dangers are insufficiently established for BESS these should be subject to Control of Major Hazards regulation (COMAH) • There is no regulatory authority taking responsibility for setting and enforcing safety standards of BESS, planning should not be considered without this • There is little experience of ‘life-time maintenance’, or replacement of this technology over time and certainly none by Sunnica. Sunnica, commenting publicly in their webinars say their technology is ‘a steep learning curve, a very steep learning curve’ and that they ‘will be very sorry if thousands of lives are lost’. This is no reassurance of engineering expertise or safety at scale. Other: • The area contributes to the food-industry-based economy and employment of the region there is no meaningful local employment in the Sunnica scheme • This land provides habitats for 100's of species, included protected Stone Curlews • There is no guarantee the land can be returned to it’s former agricultural use after 40 • There is no evidence of ethical sourcing; Solar PV and batteries likely from China are well documented as perpetuating slave labour • There is no fullproof plan to assure that decommissioning is funded from the outset • There is research that this scheme will never be carbon neutral and Sunnica have not demonstrated otherwise Health: The health impacts of this scheme mostly point to the lack of established measurement criteria on which to respond to health issues. As a first scheme ever of this scale in the UK should go over and above to examine health impacts on people. I would like to make further representation about impacts of health and mental health as there is insufficient room in this submission."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jackie Clover
"I am against the Sunnica Application for a number of reasons: This is prime arable farmland which should be used to grow crops to feed the nation reducing our dependency from abroad. The solar panels (and there are a million of these) are shipped and made from China, hardly environmentally friendly. The battery compounds are highly flammable and located close to people's homes. Newmarket is the home of Horse Racing - it needs to be preserved to retain this title and encourage investment in the town."
Members of the Public/Businesses
James Moore
"My wife and I own, and are resident at, Queens Hill Worlington. Queens Hill directly adjoins the proposed Sunnica East site boundary and is identified in the PEIR as having a significant visual impact as a result of the Sunnica proposal. Whilst we are supportive of the proposal in principle, we wish to ensure the impact of the site is minimised throughout the lifecycle from construction through to eventual decommissioning. Our main areas of representation are: 1) Minimising the visual and other environmental impacts (e.g. noise, traffic, ambient light, fire risk) of the proposed site, during construction, operation and decommissioning. 2) Securing the establishment of appropriate ongoing co-operation and communication throughout the proposed lifecycle, through a liaison committee (or similar) so that concerned parties have a means to actively engage with Sunnica to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship between Sunnica and the local community."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jane Constable
"This site is far too big and would take away good farming land. In an age of trying to cut down on reducing our carbon footprint this doesn't make any sense. Also, what happens to the land after 40 years and in view of what is currently happening in Ukraine and Russia and how there will be shortages of wheat and fertiliser, surely we need as much land for agricultural use as possible in this country. The danger of the batteries catching fire and giving out poisonous gases is extremely worrying and also the fact that the fires can't be put out. Why should we have to live with that fear, especially to line the pockets of the shareholders of Sunnica, who don't appear to even live in the UK. I understand that the battery sites will be built close to homes, this can not be allowed to happen. The infrastructure of our towns and villages can not take the heavy construction traffic that will be used to build these sites. The damage that it will do to the wildlife will be devastating. The number of solar panels needed is astronomical and the site will devalue our properties, which isn't fair. This country isn't involved in the manufacturing of the solar panels, so UK economy won't benefit from that. The local workforce won't even get the "benefit" of being involved in the construction of the site. I am not against Solar energy, but surely there are better ways of obtaining it. Why can't solar panels be installed when every new house or factory unit is built, instead of this enormous project being built and turning our villages into a blot on the landscape. We already have a large field of solar panels near the village of Worlington, so we are doing "our bit" already for Solar power"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jane George
"In the strong terms I am firmly against this proposed application. We live in a beautiful part of the countryside and with 2,500 acres of solar panels, plus the dangers of the battery energy storage compounds, this will ruin the villages they are being placed in. This land will be lost, and unlikely to ever return to its present state, most likely instead development. It will affect Newmarket itself, the stunning views from the Bury Hill canter (where on a clear day you can see Ely Cathedral) will now be a sea of solar panels, not to mention the huge disruption to the roads surrounding the villages affected. There is absolutely no upside to this developement for the area, I am not against good solar projects but this is not the right site, there are plenty of others less populated, less productive agriculture which should be considered."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jane Laing
"ENVIRONMENT I have recently returned to live in the UK after many years in South Africa. Reading through the Sunnica application I can only say with total amazement, “What are you doing?” HERITAGE Do you not appreciate the special qualities of this area of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire? You have here a composite picture of English country life. There is history, there are fields, woodlands, an abundance of wildlife. There are villages with a strong sense of community and continuity. There are working farms producing food and there are long-established stud farms. This is English countryside at its best and Sunnica plans to turn it into a soulless and toxic wasteland. SAFETY and the FUTURE We have long been advised to recycle domestic batteries separately. Why? Because they are toxic. The Sunnica scheme will poison a vast area for us and for future generations. Why are we proposing to pay vast sums to China for this installation? This is a country with well-documented human rights and environmental issues. No one has experience of establishing and safely maintaining a plant on this scale. PERSONAL I am extremely health conscious [redacted] and have been warned to avoid over-exposure to electronic equipment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jane Saul
"I have no confidence in the battery boxes being used .Also being so close to schools and residential areas ,it will not be safe ! After hearing and reading of fires and evacuations in Liverpool !"
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Gosden Ltd
"I wish to make a representation to the Sunnica Consultation voicing my strongest possible objection to this development. It is utterly without merit and needs to be rejected. The size is grotesque on farmland and: 1. The countryside will be subjected to environmental degradation by the immense size of the proposed Sunnica development. 2. Any such proposal must be on brownfield sites alone and not farmland. 3. There will be substantial loss of habitat for wildlife and the sheer size of the proposals are wholly unacceptable. 4. Wild flora and fauna will be lost, again impacting the wildlife habitats. 5. The loss of the value of the local views around Newmarket from higher ground looking over the proposed land to be developed contravenes the Newmarket Neighbourhood Plan, a planning document which is part of the WSLP. 6. Newmarket is dependent on this surrounding vista in many respects including to encourage tourism and visits to the races for the benefit of both the national and the local economy. 7. There would be unnecessary impact on agricultural land being taken out of food production for more than 25 years which, in turn, means less local produce and more environmentally unfriendly transport. 8. The unacceptable scale of these proposals will cause significant disruption to the area, including Conservation Areas and rights of way. 9. The ugly unsightly landscape caused by acres upon acres of solar panels will destroy the rural landscape. 10. The Newmarket Horseracing Industry and the continued investment of owners and others who visit the area will be reduced due to this overbearing and damaging development. 11. The use of highly specialised substances and rare earth materials (which are unlikely to be replaced i.e., not renewable) in the manufacture of the solar cells and batteries, means this development is not a sustainable proposal. 12. There will be a damaging impact on local water resources by the amount of water needed for maintenance of these immense solar farms. 13. The construction of this monstrous solar farm will cause a damaging impact on the surrounding areas of local countryside and farmland. In conclusion, I believe that this unprecedented proposal is far too large, overbearing, damaging and extensive for any area, let alone this important area surrounding Newmarket and we object to the disruption and impact it will have on the area, on people’s lives; and on habitat and wildlife all described above. This proposal is not environmentally friendly or sustainable and it certainly is not “green” development. It is a damaging blight on beautiful Suffolk farmland and our rural county."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Morrey
"I currently work within the racing industry in Newmarket and have done so for the last 20 years. Whilst I am in favour of sustainable renewable energy schemes I am against the proposed Sunnica Solar Farm application for the following reasons:- 1. A 2,500 acre industrial solar farm on greenfield land, which is 11 times bigger than any other operational solar farm in the UK is fundamentally wrong. 2. The damage to the horse racing industry in Newmarket. Potential and existing owners/investors to the industry currently chose Newmarket as the location to breed and train racehorses due to it's worldwide reputation in providing facilities, in particular racehorse training grounds, which are of the highest calibre. Newmarket offers owners a unique combination of gallops which have been in use since the early 18th century and the ability to watch the training of the horses on the gallops, in particular the Limekilns. The Limekilns are of exceptional quality offering a grass gallop of 1 1/2 miles in length on which owners and others can enjoy the spectacle of watching the training of racehorses. The landscape backdrop to the Limekilns is extremely important in itself, and from the north side of the gallops the view is currently one of open countryside with no industrial features. If the Sunnica proposal is approved this view would be one of acres of solar panels which are incapable of significant mitigation to cause it to be unseen. Such a situation would deter future investors in wishing to have their horses trained in Newmarket. 3. Furthermore, the extensive building works in particular traffic movements both during the construction period and thereafter for a site of this size would be extremely harmful to both the horse racing industry, but also those who live in the villages surrounding the solar farm. The local infrastructure would be hugely impacted due to the heavy machinery and workforce required to build and run the site, and as a result it would change a quiet rural environment into an urban industrial area. 4. West Suffolk District Council is due to go out to consultation within the next month on its Local Plan for the next 20 years. Surely a site of this size and nature should be part of the Local Plan consultation? The application as it stands is completely unplanned from a district and county perspective. 5. The 77 acres of Lithium-ion battery storage compounds are a huge fire risk, which threaten the safety of those living and working nearby. 6. The loss of 2,500 acres of good quality irrigated vegetable growing farmland; the UK cannot afford to lose this land, particularly as there is no guarantee the land can be returned to it's former agricultural use after 40 years."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Wick
"Lithium Iron batteries cause me great concern. The largest in the country far to big for our flat landscape Good arable land being taken up by this project, we need to be able to feed ourselves, especially during this world crisis. I’m a great walker and not happy that Many of the paths will be closed albeit temporarily."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mark Takacs
"Increased site traffic destroying our roads, road safety concerns. High quality farmland being destroyed. Noise pollution. Low efficience due low number of sunny hours in UK. Wild life and environmental damage caused. Lack of fire safety procedures and solutions. No trusted data about airpollution in case of a fire breakout. Ugly landmark view. Reduced residential property values."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Matt Hankins
"This is a sinful waste of purely good and limited agricultural land for a green energy that is inefficient and can be acquired in far better ways. This is a industrialisation of the countryside that we are losing so fast it will soon be eaten up an largely gone in 4 generations"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Matthew Bowler
"* Safety concerns due to Li-ion batteries * Economic effect on local housing market * Environmental concerns * Lack of long term safety studies on Li-ion BESS * Being used for profit rather than reducing carbon footprint"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Church
"I would like to object to this development, I do not believe it is right that the UK should be depend on importing so much of our basic foodstuffs, which we are capable of growing here. During my farming career, I seen the decline of production of home produced to a level which must not be allowed to decline further. The land which it is proposed to use for this project is good arable land capable of producing high yields. With irrigation will grow high value vegetable and salad crops, foods which we are all being encouraged to consumed. Although one reads that after many years the land could come back to agriculture, this will be difficult to achieve, due the structures which on it, concrete and roads."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Gee
"I object to the proposed Sunnica solar farm around our village and set out some of my reasons below: - The environmental impact will be large with wildlife being disturbed, an increase in HGV traffic leading to more air pollution and large amounts of concrete being used. -Farmland used to grow cereal crops will be taken out of production. - A number of footpaths will be closed to walkers. - There is a danger of fire from the battery storage compounds leading to toxic fumes if fire broke out. - Value of properties in the area will be adversely affected. - Of all the hundreds of new homes built in the area in recent years why has the government not required developers to install solar panels on new homes? - Why has the scheme not been planned for the fields around Burwell where the new substation would be, therefore cutting down on the length of cable needed. - It is widely thought the panels will arrive from China which is ethically a problem when taking into account China's record on human rights. -Our police force is already stretched, will they have the resources to police demonstrations and acts of public disobedience? Who is going to foot the bill for 24 hour security of such a huge site? - If the scheme was approved, would local residents receive a large discount on their energy bills for putting up with a blot on the landscape?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Giuseppe Piletto
"I strongly object to this application for the following reasons: - Consultations were not properly conducted. - Concerned about the safety of the BESS if they were to catch fire. - Huge plant too close to 3 primary schools and too close to our villages. - Taking up good quality agricultural land. - This is a bad renewable energy scheme. Too large for this area. - Impact on amenity - Poor scheme design means the scheme has a huge Carbon Footprint - Slave labour used to produce solar panels - This will not benefit generations to come"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Grace Piletto
"Yes to solar, NO to living in a Power Plant! I am concerned about the large scale of this project, the safety of the huge storage batteries. The dangerous toxic fumes they will emit if fires occur. Too close to three primary schools and residential homes. Wild life would also suffer. Also should there be a fire what plans do they have for the evacuation of lives? Sunnica cannot confirm that there is no risk of fire within these batteries! Good agricultural land will be lost. It will destroy the production of food which we will need now more than ever with what is happening in Ukraine! We cannot afford to lose this precious Suffolk/Cambridgeshire soil. Our Suffolk farmers produce everything from free-range pork, lamb and potatoes to cauliflowers, carrots, apples and wheat. Impact on amenity is also a strong concern. This is a rural area and the countryside roads are no place for HGVs, cranes etc destroying the well kept area. There is no room for these vehicles to come and go! These panels should be placed in the middle of nowhere where they can do no harm to our villages and our agricultural land."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Linda Breeze
"OBJECTIONS TO SUNNICA ENERGY FARM SIZE AND LOCATION Solar farms have their place in providing non-fossil fuel energy but they should be sympathetic to the surrounding environment. Sunnica's proposed site covering 2500 acres, which abut a number of settlements, is too large. There are already many small solar farms within a few miles radius of the proposed Sunnica development which are more suitable for this area. ?CARBON NEUTRAL Sunnica has yet to say whether the solar farm will be carbon neutral. From information available the construction and decommissioning of said farm would not fill this criterion. INFRASTRUCTURE It is not clear who will be responsible for repairing damage caused by construction traffic to roads, drains, grass verges, bridle way and footpaths. As all profits generated will go to Spain, the local area and British economy will not benefit; therefore this should not be another burden on the county council/tax payer. MAINTENANCE OF FOOD PRODUCTION With the fast changing worldwide political scene it is essential we retain as much agricultural land as possible to feed our increasing population. With Sunnica we would lose 2500 acres of this valuable agricultural portfolio for 40 years. IMPACT ON POPULATION The close proximity of solar panels and storage batteries to village dwellings is unacceptable and will impact hugely on the quality of life of the residents. The disruption caused to businesses and the daily lives of residents during construction is of considerable concern. BESS BATTERY UNITS With the planned siting of these storage units close to residentail areas and schools the lethal dangers have not been addressed, i.e. the units can ignite and produce toxic/poisonous gases. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT The enormous impact of Sunnica on the environment is difficult to quantify. The loss of many wildlife habitats in East Anglia to new builds, with more birds and mammals becoming endangered, is another reason this industrial size solar farm should not go ahead. This area has a unique landscape with bio diverse habitats, which are appreciated by residents and visitors alike. This unique landscape has an important role to play in supporting the rural community. MAINTENANCE AND DECOMMISSIONING Responsibility for this should be legally binding and enforceable. POOR CONSULTATION No bold logo on envelopes so often discarded as junk mail. Print in booklets/leaflets small and light coloured so difficult to decipher. Names of villages/towns omitted so hard to get sense of location. Residents without the internet are inadequately catered for. RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGY Solar energy is only one of the renewable technologies which are continuing to be developed and improved. Anaerobic digesters are a much cleaner/carbon neutral option with the advantage of retaining valuable Greenfield sites for future generations. Nuclear fusion may be an option well before the end of the 40 year life span of Sunnica."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Patrick Christopher Orde-Powlett
"Carbon Emission. This will be increased which will lead to further global warming, which is in direct contrast to the international agreement made in Glasgow at COP26 in October 2021 between about 80 of the largest countries in the world including China and Russia. Do these proposals break international law on global warming? There are solid grounds for topping Sunnica now if the answer is in the affirmative."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Rolfe
"Although I am not opposed to the principle of solar energy I do oppose the proposed Sunnica scheme for the following reasons: * Sunnica has no experience on building a site of this size. * There is no guarantee that the land can be returned to agricultural use after the scheme has fulfilled its purpose. * The battery storage units are not 100% safe. It appears that If a storage unit catches fire it cannot be put out and poisonous gasses are released * After the project has fulfilled its purpose there seems to be no plan to deal with the recycling / disposal of the solar panels and the battery storage units. * If any equipment needs replacing during the schemes lifetime what happens to the pieces being replaced? * I am also concerned about the schemes huge carbon footprint! Will it create more carbon in its lifetime than it ever saves. * As I use many of the rural roads to travel to various places, rather than the main A roads I fear my journeys will be affected by various form of Sunnica transport using these roads. * I am also opposed to foreign countries supplying the materials and managing the project. Can the UK not produce the necessary products? * If the project goes ahead what guarantees are there to make sure it is completed on time?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rachel Bowlin
"I do not support this project. It will make my home unending construction zone. It will cover up beautiful landscape and disrupt our local wildlife. The scale is simply too much. This project will overly burden local residents, whereas a project distributed throughout the country ensures no one place is unfairly hampered."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rachel Hood
"I object to this proposal without reservation but including the following grounds: 1. Size: This project is far too big. Monstrously, damagingly big. 21115+ football pitches big. 2. Greenfield: It is situated on greenfield land. These projects need to be on brownfield land. 3. Loss of good agricultural land: We need to grow our own food in the UK but this will take up 2800 acres of land which grows food. There will be a huge damaging carbon footprint from flying in replacement food from abroad. 4. There must be a bond to clean up and restore the land (if permission is granted) as otherwise the panels will damage this immense area of prime farmland in perpetuity. No bond is proposed. 5. Limekilns Gallops: This proposal will irretrievably damage and cause significant detrimental impact and harm to this unique, historic view. Newmarket is the international historic home of horseracing, attracting countless tourists, visitors and horse racing industry (HRI) personnel to these unspoilt gallops. The solar panels proposed will blight this area and must not be allowed. 6. Traffic: Newmarket has a terrible and recognised traffic problem and is frequently gridlocked, damaging the reputation of this historic town. The construction traffic required for this proposal will cause further gridlock and traffic and must not be allowed. It will blight the area. 7. Period of Scheme: The solar panels will be obsolete in 8 years (maybe less) and will need replacing. So, there will be continuous excess and additional traffic through Newmarket and its environment to replace the panels – all of which also adds to the carbon footprint which is immense and not “green” at all. 8. Batteries: These are dangerous and they should not be located near residents, let alone a school. 9. Visual Impact: The visual impact has been understated and the solar panels and battery storage will be visible and blight rural Suffolk. 10. Heritage Assets: Newmarket; The Icknield Way; and other heritage assets will be harmed by this massive, grotesque proposal. 11. The solar panels are made in China, probably by Uighur slave labour, then shipped or flown to the UK. This is against every British principle and contributes to the immense carbon foot print of this unacceptable scheme. 12. Fire: Any fire in the batteries will cause carcinogenic fumes to fill the air; the water used to cool the fire will pour into the water table causing damage to ecology and poison the water table with chemicals. It is extraordinarily difficult to put out these fires. 13. Rural community: This is a rural community which should not be blighted by this worthless industrial scheme, whose carbon footprint is enormous and not at all helpful to the environment. 14. Ecology: The window dressing about this is laughable. Our ecology will be damaged and the idea that there will be a net gain is not true."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Reece Pungla
"I am against this application as I feel it is very damaging to the natural habitats in the area. It is also not environmentally friendly as the solar panels are developed and shipped from China. Newmarket and the surrounding areas are beautiful and I feel it is very important to maintain this. I work in racing and in order to keep owners wanting to come and invest in the town it is important that it is an attractive place to come."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Dolan
"The proposal is too large in the context of this landscape. While I agree that we need more solar pv generation this should not compromise food production or our efforts to enhance our natural environment or increase biodiversity. Solar pv is better concentrated in the built environment eg warehousing, distribution centres, public and private buildings."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Payne
"100% support solar & renewable, but to drag this massive ill conceived project past the local villages is wholly inappropriate for the local communities it will impact. Good farmland will be taken out of production, and in some cases have to be be "compulsory purchased" against landowner wishes. Sunnica have insufficient track record to trust them, and they are unable to answer basic questions about their own scheme. No confidence that this is a suitable, viable, sustainable or safe project. Location is key. 10 miles away is Toggham Farm Solar project. Well located on less productive farmland. This is what solar development should look like in our region."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Robin Benson
"I am a frequent visitor to Badlingham and have noted the extensive area that has been built over at Red Lodge in the past few years. This proposed Sunnica development would occupy a further 2,500 acres of mainly productive farmland (NOT brownfield) and add hugely to the destruction of the countryside. I am not opposed to a solar farm, but this one is out of all proportion. Robert Benson"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Roy Larner
"i am shocked that a scheme as large as this has been considered in an area where the land is possibly the most fertile in the country , and feel it is better used growing food for this country, which helps keep imported food at a lower level. I am also very concerned about the battery energy storage safety and looking long term, would the area of this scheme be cleaned up to revert to farm land ? i doubt it ,more like large areas of development . The people who farm the land of this huge scheme at this time, or the next generation of their families, possibly would not be interested in farming it when the project is ended . Would the British manufacturing industry benefit from the scheme. i would suggest that things like solar panels and batteries would be imported . Noise of the construction of the scheme and the extra traffic in the area also concerns me .Many of the roads in the area of Freckenham are narrow and not suited to construction vehicles. Who's idea was it to suggest a scheme of this size in an area better suited to food production ?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sharon Parsonson
"- very detrimental to rural landscape - may need land for agriculture in future - why not use brownfield sites - far too big a project and intrusive to thousands of local residents - will project more carbon than it saves - huge impact on national heritage site of Newmarket - other forms of energy far more reliable such as nuclear & fracking - will disrupt thousands of people & ruin a beautiful part of the country"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sheena Petts
"I have many concerns regarding this proposed solar farm. This is limited to the below but these are the main reasons The size of the proposed farm which is vast in it proposal The disruption during the build to small rural communities The safety of the batteries - absolutely no confirmation that our communities will be protection in case of a fire or the toxins released The land proposed is good grade growing land which can not be returned to farming. Why are we allowing all of this land to be distroyed. More than ever we should be growing our own food. The carbon footprint for importing food that could be grown here will put way the Benefit's of this solar farm. Are Sunnica actually capable of taking this project forward. No is the answer look at their profile. This development will be sold to outside investors Wild life habitat will be destroyed. We have unique species here. What happens to these insects, animals and birds? Do we actually need it? We have multiple solar farms stretching across East Anglia all generating electricity. These farms have not been taken into account by Sunnica plans The list is endless as to why this farm should not take place. It will be shameful if this is approved just to meet a government quota."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Stephen Humphries
"I object to the Sunnica development on several fronts: - the size of the scheme is totally excessive and impacts many villages and communities, it will be like living inside a solar and battery plant, not next to it - related to the first bullet it is excessive and wrong that this will be 11 times larger than any other plant in the UK and impacting many communities - Sunnica has shown a high-handed, not consultative approach to any consultation and feedback and I would question indeed if they have followed all proper processes - it will result in high quality vegetable growing farmland being destroyed, reclassified to brownfield which could ultimately result in future building on land once solar plant has gone - given current world situation and concerns over future food supplies I would argue that keeping food-producing land is more important - I believe Sunnica motives are less about solar generation and more about getting cheap energy from the grid and then selling it back when it generates a profit - disruption over long time during construction utilising small country lanes used extensively by cyclists as well as cars - carbon footprint associated with supply of panels and questionable social responsibility in sourcing of panels (i.e. China / other countries known for poor / slave labour practices)"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Theodora Gould
"I strongly disagree with the application. The land is mainly good quality farm land that is currently used for agriculture. The UK needs to be more self sufficient not less so with regards to food production. The land provides habitat to wildlife (including stone curlew) and footpaths and bridleways. The development will not benefit local people. There would be serious health risks if there were any accidents, for example fire. It will affect local house prices for hundreds of households. The development will have serious deleterious implications on local people, denying them their beautiful green space (Breckland), increasing heavy traffic on the roads, (I live opposite The Walnut Tree pub and large lorries frequently have to mount the pavement and our drive when turning left towards Freckenham onto the B1102 from the Newmarket Road in Worlington."
Other Statutory Consultees
UK Health Security Agency formerly Public Health England
"Thank you for your consultation regarding the above development. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) welcomes the opportunity to comment on your proposals at this stage of the project. Please note that we request views from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) and the response provided is sent on behalf of both UKHSA and OHID. We can confirm that: With respect to this consultation, we are reassured that comments raised by us on 09/04/2019 have been addressed. In addition, we acknowledge that the Environmental Statement (ES) has not identified any issues which could significantly affect public health. UKHSA/OHID is satisfied with the methodology used to undertake the environmental assessment. We are satisfied that the proposed development should not result in any significant adverse impacst on public health. On that basis, we have no additional comments to make at this stage and can confirm that we have chosen NOT to register an interest with the Planning Inspectorate on this occasion. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ajay Visana
"I don't believe the rural countryside is an appropriate location for such a large scale farm that has such a dramatic impact both visually and to the local ecosystem. The plans to store energy and sell it back to the grid when the price is high seem like a cash-grab. Whilst I am pro-green. The size of the project appears to have no material economies of scale compared to multiple smaller sites and therefore I don't understand the need to have such a monolithic site. Further to this, the battery farm poses a fire risk as has been seen with multiple other battery farms and I haven't seen an adequate risk assessment of this, nor do i believe housing this so close to a school is a good idea."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alice Keutgen
"While I am pro-green energy, I object to the Sunnica scheme on the following grounds: - It disturbs me that university analysis of said scheme has shown that it will generate more carbon in its lifetime than it will save, so it cannot be classed as 'green' and will consequently hinder rather than advance the nation's pursuit of net zero by 2050 The negatives of the scheme further outweigh the positives: - At a time when we need more than ever to develop food self-sufficiency as a nation, the scheme will wipe out 2,500 acres of greenfield agricultural land, much of it prime vegetable-growing farmland. Currently, the UK is only 64% self-sufficient in food, a percentage which swiftly needs to rise, especially now in light of the Ukraine crisis - At a time when the environment and biodiversity urgently need bolstering, the scheme will cover a swathe of countryside in more than 1,000,000 China-imported solar panels, 100 acres of concrete and 30 miles of security fencing, to the detriment of plants and wildlife; I've heard it asserted that hares, which are already struggling to survive due to habitat loss, will create their forms between panels and live happily on the solar farm, but that stretches belief to breaking point - Said countryside will be lost for an estimated two generations. There is no guarantee it will be returned to agricultural use at the end of the solar park's 40-year lifespan - and indeed there is doubt about who will dismantle and dispose of the panels, how and when. The scheme will be classed a brownfield site after the project ends, making it likely to be used for development rather than farming or rewilding - The number, scale, proximity to dwellings and substantiated risk of fire - which results in the emittance of toxic gasses, lethal in even tiny volumes - that the battery energy storage sites pose is hugely concerning. With an output of 500 MW, the Sunnica BESS would be the largest to date in the world and Sunnica has no experience of building BESS on this scale - The scheme is not going to support the local economy: the site will be constructed by a Yorkshire company, Smith Brothers Ltd, and will profit Sunnica's Spanish owners - Our village being encircled by the solar park will have a genuine negative impact on our quality of life. I work from home and dread the constant soundtrack of lorries thundering past the house during the construction phase, along with the air pollution that traffic will bring; it will cloak a huge area of the countryside we love to live in and walk through; plus it will affect our property's price Also: - Much better clean and green energy technologies are available. Take the UK's world-leading company Ceres, which is currently collaborating with major brands such as Bosch in Germany to install steel-cell electro-chemical generators capable of producing clean energy at scale and speed. The production process is sustainable and supports the UK economy - as opposed to requiring solar panels to be made and imported from China, a process which, in and of itself, creates a massive carbon footprint - as outlined here: [redacted]"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Heap
"I am concerned about the disruption to local village life and the noise implications to local housing"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Claude Porcheron
"1.Fire hazard over areas near homes . Danger of escape of poisonous gases. 2. Profit will go to private company at expense of local environment. 3. Land used is good farmland and cannot be replaced. 4. Moral objection to materials from China. 5. The sheer size of the project and inexperience of the company are worrying. 6.Cable will be very close to our village. 7. No befit to local people - either in jobs or amenity. This project would be a monstrous eyesore in a pleasant rural area, damaging to the environment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Conor Bignell
"I am writing to object to the plans for the Sunnica development in and around Freckenham. My objections mirror those of Suffolk County Council in that the plans are not well laid out, the land to be used already has the good use of producing crops and therefore food. On top of this, the developments is so large that it will cause a blight on the landscape."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Daniel Hopla
"Long term security concerns in regard to the proposed site of national infrastructure. Who will be providing regular security across all sites? How will security be monitored and implimented? Has there been an updated threat assessment made in the last 3-6 months, and how regularly will it be reviewed? Will increased threats to the infrastructure be actioned upon immediately? What implications does this have to the local communities? How will security be funded over the entire duration of the infrastructures life expectancy? What is the overall security strategy for the proposed site of national infrastructure, and has it been robustly tested?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dean Warwick
"I disagree with the entire proposal. Having recently moved to the area for the beautiful countryside I feel this will be lost with this proposal. It doesn’t seem to benefit anyone locally and to me it seems it’s being put somewhere miles away from the decision makers. The environmental impact is massive - this is not a green project, it’s just being sold as one"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Deirdre Hyde
"Whilst I am a firm supporter of renewable energy sources I believe this project is a highly unsuitable development for this area. I have lived in the area for almost two years and seen the excellent vegetable crops that are grown, we need such produce to make UK as self sufficient as possible. Once it is gone it is hard to believe it will ever be retrieved. It is an area of small narrow roads which will suffer greatly by all the development traffic and make life in the area much more difficult and dangerous. It is hard to find any benefits to the local community in employment and incomers will add to the problems of housing in the area. I am shocked that this whole development seems to be to the benefit of a Spanish company who will be able to buy cheap electricity off the grid and then sell it back to the grid when the price is high generating huge profits for its foreign owners not UK or local residents. The extent of land to be used will form a most ghastly eyesore and I understand the battery storage units can catch fire and are highly dangerous. Finally it has a limited life span and I cannot believe this is something that should be left for our children and grandchildren to deal with. There has to be a site that is less wasteful of good land and where such a development is less intrusive and damaging to an area of agricultural value."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Derek Robertson
"wrong to use 3000 acres of good farm land when we need to grow more foo oueselfs. how moch co2 will be generated by importing all this extra food. why is farmland being used for battery storage units? as the solar panels will come fron china how much co2 will be produced fron their dirty coal fired powerstations. who are sunica how can this company build this sceme?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Edmund John Fordham
"1. Since 2014 I reside locally. I am a Chartered Physicist, Chartered Engineer, registered European Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Physics, with over 40 years’ experience in applied research in the energy industries, since graduating from Cambridge with a double First in Natural Sciences. My experience includes nuclear reactor safety engineering, a doctorate on wind energy, and 33 years in the oil and gas sector. I object to the Sunnica proposal, for the following reasons. 2. Sunnica is described as a 500 MW electricity generator. But expected generation implies an annual average power of about 67 MW, less than 1/7 of rated power. A conventional power station of this output would occupy only about 1.8 ha, 450 times more efficient in use of land than Sunnica. 3. The environmental destruction in loss of: (i) agricultural land, (ii) wildlife habitat, (iii) biodiversity, and (iv) the inability to plant trees (v) the local microclimate warming, caused by most solar energy just heating the panels, (vi) the threat to local Nature Reserves and SSSIs – are all unacceptable, and not offset by the claimed CO2 savings. These are almost certainly nugatory when the “embedded carbon” footprint of the proposed batteries is included. 4. The Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) compounds remain under-specified both as to extent and technology. Since 2019 Sunnica have refused to answer even basic questions as to energy storage capacity, number of cabins, spacing of cabins, electrochemical technology, safety engineering and fire precautions. They are asking for a “blank cheque”. Parties have been reduced to guesswork regarding what could be the largest BESS in the world, with major hazard potential. Lacking even outline specifications, the Outline Battery Fire Safety Management Plan and air quality assessments have no rational foundation. 5. The energy capacity of the BESS is inconsistent with the claimed function. Energy Institute guidance implies a planned capacity of up to 3000 MWh of battery storage, more than can credibly be used by the relatively small output of the solar panels. Presenting as a “power station” (output only) what is really an energy trading plant (import and export) is dishonest. BESS at this scale would not be Associated Development i.e. the BESS are an installation in their own right rather than associated with, and proportional to, the expected photovoltaic generation. Such use would fall outside the scope of the Planning Act 2008. 6. The only BESS technology with the maturity to be deployed at scale is Lithium-ion. Li-ion BESS accidents (major fires and explosions, including one in Liverpool in 2020) are matters of record. “Thermal runaway” accidents are a known failure mode but no engineering standards address their prevention. Wrongly called “battery fires” they require no oxygen so cannot be stopped by conventional means except extravagant water cooling. The major accident potential of the BESS is considerable. 3000 MWh is about 5 times the energy of the 2020 Beirut explosion. Highly toxic gases (principally Hydrogen Fluoride) are released in thermal runaway presenting a major hazard to neighbouring housing, schools, workplaces and bloodstock centres. 7. In respect of BESS, though presenting major accident hazard, the HSE currently refuses to enforce the public protection provided by the Control Of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations. HSE has been unable to cite any legal basis for this exemption, which appears to be ultra vires, and unlawful. The parallel requirement for Hazardous Substances Consents under the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990 should however be within the scope of the Examination and must not be evaded."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Emma Thomas
"I also own a plot of land on Houghtons Lane in Isleham. I object to the proposal as it is far too large. I object as it is going to take prime agricultural land out of production. I object as it will have a huge impact on the rural countryside and horse racing community. I object as it will involve the compulsory acquisition of land which will negatively impact generations of farmers in our area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ian Braybrooke
"We need farmland, solar power should be installed on new buildings, brown field sites and industrial buildings. Not farmland used for growing food and raising livestock. I believe that the proposal is purely for the money and. Not the environment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jack Smith
"I would like to register my objection to the proposed Sunnica Energy Farm. Whilst I accept there is a need for greener sources of energy and that indeed solar power can be a key part of this the panels must be located in suitable locations on land and buildings with no other higher priority use. The location and scale of the proposed Sunnica Energy Farm is entirely unsuitable. The Sunnica Energy Farm proposes to construct 77 acres of battery energy storage systems (BESS) which will be the largest in the world. Should this scale of BESS be constructed so close to local villages with the risk that battery fire could pose? Battery storage is of course crucial to fully utilise the energy produced from solar panels but with significant uncertainty surrounding BESS fires and the general safety of BESS the proximity of large settlements has to be too great of a risk. The pollution and environmental risk is also significant given the proximity of the sites to SSSI’s and that they are within the catchment of the River Kennet, a crucial chalk stream in East Anglia. 2500 acres of productive farmland should not be covered in solar panels. The land has been chosen for its 3b status and its proximity to the Burwell sub station. The 3b status does not take into account the effect of irrigation. I manage a large farming business next door to the proposal on the same land quality, we achieve far above national average yields and the produce is sold to top specification in supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer’s. As a business we grow 11,000t + of potatoes and our best quality comes from the land type that is proposed to be covered in solar panels. The land classification is not accurate with the advances in irrigation technology and other farming techniques we farm next door and I know that the land can sustain high levels of food production. If we translate our yields and sustainable rotations to the proposed land then these solar panels could be directly reducing UK food production by 39,000t of produce, this is unacceptable. The Sunnica Energy Farm should not go ahead. The debate should not be ‘food vs fuel’ but ‘food and fuel’. Create energy where we can economically and efficiently do so but more importantly grow food on the land that is most suited to do so. In this situation the land proposed to be covered in solar panels is highly productive agricultural land and should therefore not be covered in solar panels. The events in Ukraine have raised the issue of food security and this land is key to ensuring better food security for the UK, not in terms of wheat and barley but in terms of high quality fresh produce, potatoes, onions, carrots, and parsnips grown with highly accurate irrigation to the highest quality. The proposal is un-safe, un-tested, detrimental to the environment and detrimental to the UK’s food security."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jacqui Sayers
"I oppose the Sunnica plan due to its detrimental impact on the environment and also its damaging effects on the wellbeing of the local community and the local infrastructure."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jamie Monument
"My issue with the project is the sheer scale. This will have an enormous impact in the community and environment. In terms of community, the landscape will change forever - this will effect the local use of the environment and natural environment visually, negatively impacting on house prices, waking, cycling and enjoying the local landscape. The biggest project of its type; the risks to nature are not known. What is known is the low efficiency in producing energy. Compare this to the yield of the land as prime agricultural estate. Surely this is a national concern as climate change requires the Uk to become ever more sustainable. Importing from across the world would easily negate any benefits from ‘sustainable’ energy in terms of carbon footprint. The use of the use as of for stable agriculture is a fundamental factor in ensuring flood control across the Fens. I have seen no comment on the impact of large scale reduction in agriculture. Will our land and homes flood? Who is willing to sign up to this risk. Who is willing to be responsible flooding, implosion of a local property market, negative impacts to local wildlife, a deeply unhappy population? The list goes on. It is hard to think of any positive with this scheme on this scale. This cannot be allowed to be given the go ahead. If none of the issues raised are true then significant work is required not only to assure the population but to PROVE THAT THERE WILL BE NO NEGATIVE IMPACTS WITH SCIENCE."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jane Harrington
"Loss of vital grade one agricultural land. The impact on the farming community as regards loss of income, loss of businesses, loss of vital and sustainable food production, loss of employment. Lack of information regarding overall safety - fire service not clear how to handle and extinguish such fires on these installations. The proximity and therefore danger to local communities, wildlife and businesses should a fire break out. Lack of reassurances regarding the decommissioning of this site. The disingenuous nature of Sunnica’s correspondence and lack of consideration they show to the local community and businesses. They have refused for several years to meet with communities, local Members of Parliament representatives and action groups. They show a total disregard for anyone that states they do not wish to communicate further with them or have dealings with them. They continue to send lengthy, deliberately complicated literature even when they have been instructed not to. The purpose being, to intimidate and frighten those owning land they need. Anyone standing in their way, is treated with contempt and disrespect. They cannot give clarification on so many concerns that the community has requested, which has led to a general feeling of distrust. This arrogant stance, from the onset, compounds that this company, with their bullish attitude, will stop at nothing to get what they want. It is a terrible way to treat people concerned about sustaining their livelihoods and ensuring they live in a safe environment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jean Cornwell
"Strong concerns of damage to the environment & views of the landscape. Loss of much needed agricultural land, for food. Loss of wildlife & its habitat. Concerns of batteries, so big & worries of fire & disposal. All for renewable energy, but not in such a big concern , concentrated around my home. Let's use roof tops on all new builds & warehouses."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jen Wallis
"High grade valuable farmland must be used to provide food fir this country. Stop letting farmers lease their land to these idiotic companies. Wind and solar farms are nit efficient and most definitely NOT green methods of power. They are very inefficient too but it appears that we, the public, are ridden roughshod over our views to allow massive companies to do what they want with the agricultural land."
Members of the Public/Businesses
John Semmelmann
"Size and construction of project :way too close to our village-less than 100 metres from my house :total loss of open farming land forever! :huge volume of concrete required will mean a huge extra volume of traffic thundering past my house every day :loss of wildlife forever :I did not move to this village to be surrounded by security fencing :solar panels are being imported from China and poor design scheme means a huge carbon footprint-much more than it will eventually save Impact on environment :this will become a brownfield site after decommissioning-40 years I believe Li-ion BESS catch fire which releases poisonous gases and cannot be put out Financial impact :non British owned :no local employment :loss of farming food :value of my property will be affected :this scheme has no financial benefit to me or anyone else in the village.It is purely a money making scheme for the Spanish owners"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lesley Gross
"I don't want my local countryside covered by solar panels, I walk my dog around this area daily and it helps keep me sane. There will be no benefits to local people: no jobs, but immense disruption during construction. I am very concerned about potential fires which would create poisonous gasses. This project will only make money for the Spanish owners of Sunica. I understand that this project will create more carbon in it's lifetime than it ever saves. I'm also worried that it will affect the value of my property which I've spent my whole life working to own and keep in good repair. I am very worried about the loss of habitat for 100's of species."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Marie Shortland
"TOO BIG AND WILL ADVERSELY AFFECT PEOPLE’s MENTAL HEALTH. A normal Solar Farm size is 75 to 100 acres. Sunnica’s is an Industrial Power Plant, the largest in Europe at 2,792 acres, equivalent to 2,115 football pitches. You won’t be able to move outside your house without encountering multiple once green fields covered with grey industrial panels. This will greatly affect people’s mental health - already affected by Covid and isolation, growing financial burdens and losses and now the war in Ukraine. INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE. The views over the landscape and the feel of the area will be changed forever with panels, batteries, fencing, noise and light pollution a dominating factor. This would again damage people’s mental health. INEFFICIENT. Sunnica is an inefficient, opportunistic, 'hotch potch' design with panels littering the countryside in four sites with a pipeline over 15 miles long to reach the connection point at Burwell, criss crossed by many roads, railway, rivers, streams pathways and public rights of way. WE NEED FARMLAND FOR FOOD. It wastes valuable, productive arable farmland currently producing vegetable and cereal crops for a minimum of 40 years. To improve our environment there is a need to reduce the carbon miles our food travels and improve our food security as the global population continues to increase. Following Brexit, Covid and now the war in Ukraine, it is absolutely clear that we need ALL farmland to be used to produce food to reduce our reliance on other countries. NEGATIVE FINANCIALS. The fi­nancial position of Sunnica is negative in their last set of accounts (-£181k). It is extremely worrying that a company with this ­financial standing is able to work on an Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project involving hundreds of millions of pounds to construct and importantly provision to clear up the site should the scheme go bankrupt during its planned 40 year life. NOT FOR YOU, FOR PROFIT. This scheme will not supply sustainable energy to local housing, it will be sold for profi­t to large corporations and the national grid. Energy will be exported from the grid at cheap, off peak times and sold back at peak times, using the battery storage to generate huge profi­ts from energy trading. It is not anticipated to create any long-term local jobs. There is no compensation offered for a reduction in house values. DESTROY WILDLIFE. The scheme will destroy wildlife corridors, nesting and feeding habitats, which, once gone will not be easily recovered. What is the carbon footprint of the scheme? The proposed site has several birds of national significance, one Annex 1 (the Stone-Curlew) and 5 WCA schedule 1 bird species. The site is also close to seven international, nine national and 31 locally designated sites for nature conservation and therefore the disturbance of the 2 years of construction and 40 years of solar panels will have a vast impact on our long-term ecosystems and bio-diversity. Sunnica’s proposed mitigation for most wildlife begins after the 2 years of construction, meaning irreparable damage will have already been done? How will this important wildlife be protected? Sunnica will use 30 miles of two metre high deer fencing to protect the scheme. They propose to plant sapling trees to screen this fencing, however these will take at least 15 years to form effective screening. Please can it be explained how we will be screened from the enormous effects of this scheme? DANGEROUS TECHNOLOGY. The Lithium-ion batteries used in the three Battery Energy Storage Systems are potentially dangerous, currently banned in Arizona as they are ‘unacceptable risks’, due to causing two uncontrollable ­fires. The fumes omitted during these toxic fi­res are extremely hazardous to human life. A fire of this nature has already been experienced in Liverpool. NEGATIVE EFFECT ON HEALTH. Particularly during construction residents, both young and old, with lung conditions such as COPD & Asthma are at risk from high levels of dust in the air that is potentially lethal to human health. POOR SCREENING. Whilst Sunnica commit to trying to mitigate the damage done the by the scheme, trees and shrubs will take years to grow to the height of 2.5m to obscure the panels and deer fencing and even longer for the 6m high Battery Energy Storage Systems. This means that from the start of the construction it will be over 5 years before the planting has much effect on hiding this ugly blot on our landscape. TRAFFIC CHAOS. Through the estimated 2 years of construction of the Sunnica site, the contractor will bring in Heavy Goods Vehicles, including abnormal loads, 841 staff vehicles. 1,260 staff will be working Monday to Saturday 7am to 7pm creating noise and traffic through our villages. There is likely to be many road closures, diversions and muddy conditions to endure"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Lambourn-Brown
"This is a terrible waste of good grade farmland , it will devastate the local villages , this is far too big a planning matter and really can not be allowed to happen."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sean McGinty on behalf of Mrs J McGinty
"This is an inappropriately large project in a rural location close to small villages. A greater quantity of green electricity could be generated by other means without the need to occupy so much countryside and impact so many people. No positives for the local community. Worries about the safety of the battery storage. Is it wise to be removing productive Farm land from use. Locally grown produce is inherently lower in carbon footprint. The UK should be striving to be less dependent on imported produce."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Nicolette Porcheron
"1. Fire hazard over areas near homes. Danger of escape of poisonous gases. 2. Profit will go to private company at expense of local environment. 3. Land used is good farmland and cannot be replaced. 4. Moral objection to materials from China. 5. The sheer size of the project and inexperience of the company are worrying. 6. Cable will be very close to our village. 7. No befit to local people – either in jobs or amenity. This project would be a monstrous eyesore in a pleasant rural area, damaging to the environment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Paul Tuli
"The size and scale of the proposed Sunnica solar energy facility will have a significant negative visual impact on the surrounding countryside for decades. This part of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire is characterised by small villages, country lanes and farmland, not an industrial power plant with panels, batteries, 2.5m fences and supporting infrastructure across thousands of acres of countryside. I am concerned that the high level of construction traffic present during the facility’s estimated two-year construction phase will introduce congestion, noise, road closures and mud to villages and country lanes. The proposed site wastes valuable and productive arable farmland. The proposed solar energy facility could be located elsewhere on less productive land, away from farms and villages, without detriment to its efficiency and without wasting food-producing farmland. I am concerned that the proposed facility will decrease the value of properties in the area. There is no proposed compensation for this loss, neither is there any plan to provide residents with locally-produced sustainable energy from the facility. I am concerned that, in the event of malfunction, the large battery energy storage systems pose a potential hazard to residents and homes in the surrounding villages due to the risk of fire and emission of toxic gases. There does not appear to be a plan for the facility’s eventual decommissioning. The negative impact of this facility will therefore affect our children’s generation, and potentially theirs, long after the useful lifetime of the proposed solar energy facility."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Browne
"1/ I object to paying twice for my electricity. To allow for the grid to maintain supplies when the solar farm is not generating the other forms of generation need to be maintained. These other operators need to make an economic return on investment. Therefore when they are allowed to generate the price they charge will be greatly more than they would charge for 24/7 generation. We are in effect paying for 2 operators but allowing only one to be online. 2/ Solar farms,even with battery storage, are some of the worst types of generation with regard to grid resilience. Their inertial response,reactive power and load following are much worse than large rotating generators such as found in gas,nuclear and coal stations."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Philip Baker
"Concentrating solely on the need to mitigate the worst effects of Climate Change will lead to further problems in the future. At this time of impending national emergency over the threat of war, there is an equal imperative, which is to ensure this island can as near as possible sustain its food supply locally. This solar "farm" should be sited on brownfield sites rather than deprive the region of food production land. I have no confidence that the developers are competent to create the largest such development, or that adequate measures have been planned to ensure the safety of residents living close to the enormous battery storage facility, such as myself. There is little equipment on site and already the sound emitted is dreadful. This will only worsen. It fails on the main plank of its argument in that the lifetime global warming components exceed the short term emissions reduction. In other words, it is a net polluter and not a "green" solution. The developers have shown no interest in the local residents or their comfort os safety, only in making a quick profit. Previous attempts to railroad "green" plans (which this is not) through have failed once the authorities have examined the highly flawed arguments put in support. It is to be hoped that this one does too."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rosa De Simone
"Britain faces a worsening agricultural crisis if it presses ahead with turning thousands of acres of land into solar farms to meet net zero carbon targets. If the proposals are given the go-ahead, it could take as much as 150,000 acres of agricultural land out of production. The change will increase Britain’s dependency on food imports. Solar farm development is best located on lower quality agricultural land, avoiding the most productive and versatile soils. Brownfield first approach to solar should be adopted. We need to be smart in our approach. It makes no sense to let the countryside become a patchwork quilt of solar panels. We've no doubt it would have a detrimental effect on the horseracing industry. If Newmarket wants to remain the world centre of horseracing it can't afford to have Sunnica as its neighbour. The process seems to be all about the developer. They can get away with doing the bare minimum. The first many knew about the scheme was when a brochure in a white envelope addressed only to ‘The Resident’ was posted through our letterboxes. Many mistook it for junk mail and threw it straight into their recycling bins. Sunnica offered online ‘webinars’ but a significant proportion of the population are older people who don’t have access to a computer. In some areas, there is no internet connection at all. Representatives of Sunnica have still to attend any public meetings in the area. The solar panels would almost reach people’s back gardens and in Isleham. Even the most ardent supporter of renewable energy can see that putting a huge battery farm right next to villages is a bad idea."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sally Lambourn-Brown
"Hundreds of acres of farmland and beautiful countryside are going to be taken, disrupting natural beauty, ecology and wildlife. Surely there must be other more industrial types of sites that could be used. Please don’t spoil such a lovely unspoilt part of the countryside."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sam Carter
"- LOSS OF COUNTRYSIDE WHICH IS PRIME FARMING LAND - HABITATS FOR ANIMALS WILL BE LOST - SOLAR PANELS IN QUANTITY WILL SPOIL THE LOOK OF THE LOCAL VISTA - INCREASED COMMERCIAL TRANSPORT WITHIN THE AREA WHILST THESE ARE BEING BUILT."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sarah Lawrence
"From all that I have read and seen on the matter, I believe that Sunnica is a scheme that provides no direct local benefits: - No local jobs - Extensive disruption during construction – increase traffic on roads during construction - Imported materials used in construction - It is a foreign-owned company Instead of reducing carbon, it will will add to the carbon footprint in the following ways: - Extensive use of concrete – which is polluting and energy intensive to produce - A massive flow of traffic through a rural area – all lorries using diesel, with the added problem of fine particulate pollution - It involves the destruction of good agricultural land. REDUCING plants which are an essential part of the carbon cycle. - Importing of the batteries and other materials will have a huge carbon foot print Sunnica will destroy the environment as the agricultural land will never be reclaimed. It will also: - Destroy natural habitats for wildlife - Erode our self-sufficiency in food production - Increase the risk of flooding due to lack of drainage (replacing arable land with acres of concrete) I believe the scheme that is ethically unsound: - It is likely to use solar panels imported from China and built using slave labour - Rare earth minerals needed for batteries are often mined by workers in unsafe conditions - There is little consideration for local residents, who will not be benefitting from the project."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Suzanne Morse
"I am strongly in favour of this application. I live in close proximity to where this will be built and have absolutely no objection to the planning. This is necessary to move this country forward in renewable energy and I hope it will be followed by many more."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Teresa Peachey
"The scheme is far too big. In this time to take away such amazing growing land is ridiculous. The wildlife that would be made extinct through putting such panels over the land cannot be measured. Many people live close by to the batteries which are dangerous to human life should they catch fire are unacceptable. Would the people of Sunnica like to live near to them. Our little country roads are not big enough to continually have HGV lorries carrying these enormous sheets of glass around . Not against solar power in small areas but this scheme is totally unacceptable especially as it is so close to civilisation ."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Zsanett Moricz
"- Increased site traffic destroying our roads, road safety concerns. - High quality farmland being destroyed. - Noise pollution. - Low efficience due low number of sunny hours in UK. - Wild life and environmental damage caused. - Lack of fire safety procedures and solutions. - No trusted data about airpollution in case of a fire breakout. - Ugly landmark view. - Reduced residential property values."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Adam Singleton
"I have a massive concern in several areas! Firstly, the obvious one, as a country we can't afford to lose this amount of fertile farm land! Surely solar farms are better situated on contaminated or waste land that has no other purpose? Secondly, the access for construction. Roads in the area are very narrow and will struggle to support multiple trucks for the years of construction! Finally, the sheer scale of the proposed development. Smaller solar farms that are spread out bare easily absorbed in the landscape and environment. This proposed solar farm will cover all fields in a massive area. This development isn't for sustainability and green credentials, it's purely for profit!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alan Burge
"1. Disruption to village residents 2. Fire hazard of battery storage units 3. Alternative sites should be sought in industrial locations 4. We already have many solar farms in this region 5. We need to retain land for agricultural purposes 6. Less imported food etc lowers carbon impact 7. Detrimental visual and health concerns impact to residents’ mental health 8. Ruination of the countryside"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alison Oliver
"I object to the Sunnica application on the following grounds: Environmental Impact - The devastation of the surrounding countryside, during construction, maintenance, lifespan and decommissioning of the project. Wildlife - The destruction of natural habitats and wildlife corridors for uniquely British animals and birds. Food security - Using vast amounts of fertile land for a solar plant. You can install solar on roof tops and buildings, you cant plant crops on roof tops. Size - it’s just too big! Safety - the size and instability of the batteries. Quality of life - The disruption to our rural way of life. Construction traffic and pollution for our small country roads. This being sold to the wider public as a ‘green’ initiative when the reality is that it is lining the pockets of a few individuals that have no connection to the local community or surrounding area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Laird
"After seeing the various paperwork and hearing the few answers Sunnica could adequately answer to pertinent and relevant questions I cannot believe that this application has got this far already. There is no forward thinking in this proposal whatsoever and there has never been a more important time to be thinking of sustainable energy but not in place of fertile farmland capable of growing food. How many commercial and residential buildings have roofs without solar panels? How many car parks could these panels be applied to? The national grid is not being updated so this scheme and others like it are not solving any crisis at all. Solar energy is a great idea, not as efficient as wind energy, but not in place of farm land capable of producing food for local and national people. The batteries, which would be the biggest in the country by an enormous amount, pose an equally enormous safety risk and there is not enough fire engines and staff in the whole of East Anglia that would be able to contain any fire that might break out and the toxic fumes created for residential areas within miles of these never tested enormous and non recyclable batteries. How exactly is this scheme even being considered on such a ludicrous scale with these safety concerns being completely overlooked? Renewable energy and carbon neutrality is the only way forward but this scheme and will burden future generations with disposing with outdated technology and contaminated land. This type of scheme must be stopped and replaced with schemes which harness less fertile land and areas of commercial land and buildings first and foremost away from residential areas so people’s safety is paramount."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Archie Stewart
"I would like to register my objection to Sunnica, my father trained in Newmarket and I spent my early years watching horses work on the world famous Limekilns. I now work in racing and live in Freckenham, this scheme will not only devastate the racing landscape but the lives of all of us in the village communities divided by this ‘factory’ There are stud farms here and rehoming yards, apart from great farmland. Riders use these narrow quiet lanes to exercise horses and many who live here travel into Newmarket every day. How can we do this if this goes ahead, we have a way of life and many thriving businesses that exist because of horses and it does not mix well with Industry, please don’t let it wreck our history and way of life and stop this from being built."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Brenda Downey
"I am a very concerned Mum and Grandma letting this solar farm being built do close to my and surrounding villages. ..The danger of these units make me very frightened ...no one will say now safe these batteries are ..because they are not...the short or long term of them....my family are asthma suffers already and I know these batteries give of deadly chemicals..now is this good green energy.?..if there's a fire it has been said you stay in your house and close all windows..so now do we survive that ...what happens to the wildlife..the good soil they are on will never go back to being good soil....the good farm land which provides our food.....so many people already are struggling to keep jobs ..to put food on there table for there families...to eat healthy.....to just stay alive.. You are building the Isleham one on airman's graves...now's that right...This is not for the best of us village people ..no way .all this is doing is lining the greegy men pockets.....who will build ..pat his pocket and walk away and do it some where else till all our beautiful country side is no more .... The government needs to step on ..stop companies like you..and give grants to help people put panels on all our building....shops.. factory..carparks..supermarkets..keep the fields crop green ...not green with your unhealthy dangerous green..... You and your company just tell lies..you can't be honest on any of your meetings....As one head teacher ask..this is safe for our children..."
Non-Statutory Organisations
British Transport Police
"In principle I have no objections with regards to this application of Sunnica Energy Farm, however, British Transport Police, is willing to provide further guidance and advice to help clarify the risks within the proposal and provide designing out crime advice for those parts of the development which will impact on the railway. Ian Heward Designing Out Crime Officer D.O.C.U. BTP for Greater Anglia."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Swan
"The proposed buildings should not be built on agricultural land as we need to ensure our food security during these turbulent times. The energy storage batteries are too dangerous to be built close to residential properties. If there was a fire in the storage batteries then the whole area up to Bury St Edmunds would be under threat of toxic fumes which for a rural community is totally unacceptable."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Binks
"I reject the Sunnica application fully, I live in the village of Isleham here are some of the reasons to my objection. Disruption to my daily life and routine due to; • increased traffic, through the village which will cause extra road noise from HGV’s and also make journey times longer • road closures and temporary traffic lights which again will cause huge disruption. • restricted access to green areas- including footpath closures. • visual impact, it will change the area in a dramatic way from rural farming to industrial and NO one wants to live on a massive industrial estate. • dust pollution – [Redacted] I know a neighbour who will suffer even more due to their lung problems. • noise pollution- We worked hard and saved to buy our new home in the country side because we wanted quite!! The sound of the equipment that puts the posts in the ground will be loud enough without the addition of all the other factors. I’m a chef and work unsociable hours so then working 6 days a week 12hrs a day is going to drive me mad.. I’m sure I can speak for pretty much everyone with regards to this. • loss of outside green space – no escape from the visual impact of the scheme • mental well being- there will be no escaping the impact of this scheme in every sense.. noise, visual, disruption. Property • I chose to live in a small rural village which will become an industrial area • problems selling on, people are already having problems selling their houses in the village, this will only increase if this application is passed. We have finally managed to get together enough money to put down on our first house and we are concerned that we will end up in negative equity if this scheme goes ahead. Local estate agents estimate between 10 and 20% decrease in property value. • property values affected we will be trapped living in an industrial site as we will not have the funds to leave. Safety • battery storage- fires, toxic gasses. It’s proven that the technology is not reliable with many fires reported. • schools are in close proximity of the large battery sites • increased traffic in small rural villages lacking crossings and traffic calming measures. • Roads – these are village roads within very old villages containing many listed buildings and monuments. They are not designed for large HGV’s. In many places such vehicles will be unable to pass without taking up the whole road. Flora and fauna • Wildlife and conservation are very important to me, I feel this scheme will have a devastating effect on our diverse flora and fauna. including the chalk streams that run alongside the site. • the most concerning aspect of Sunica clearly they have no regard for the local people or environment and the whole project is a money making scheme that has no real value to the environment. The amount of pollution created to build the site out weighs the gain, that coupled with the fact that it’s going to be put on the UK’s most fertile land for food production, essentially disabling the county’s ability to feed itself makes it completely insane to even be considered. Ask yourself if YOU would want to live next to a solar farm this size? I’m guessing the answer is NO! I wish to be kept up to date and informed at all stages, my contact details are [Redacted]"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christine Savage-Hamlin
"I understand that there any many who don't want this built, I also understand that we are putting more strain on the country's national grid system with amongst other things the electric car, if we want to continue to receive electricity and increase demand on the grid with things like electric cars then this is a nessecary part of the infrastructure in the future. I realise that the existing fossil fuel and nuclear power plants need to come to an end and that projects like this are required to replace them. I will not say that I will enjoy the disruption of it being built, or the visual impact it will have on the countryside, and I understand peoples concerns over safety, but feel the technology will be adequately tested and that suitable safety systems will be put in place. In conclusion I think that this project needs to go ahead."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Claire Tilbrook
"- wholly inadequate consultation of the affected villages. - landscaping plans seen to date wholly inadequate and unlikely to shield any impact for several years at least. - construction period will be incredibly disruptive and damaging to the local economy. - the area of farm land being taken out of production is foolish in the extreme particularly in light of the conflict in Ukraine. - impact on those affected by compulsory purchase wholly disproportionate to the stated benefits of allowing the scheme."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Colin Eddison
"It's a massive construction project so there will be a great deal of heavy construction traffic passing through. It's being built on productive arable farm land so will reduce the amount of food we grow in the UK leading to price increases. It's being built on or adjacent to horse racing stable, trainers &/or studs so I'm very concerned about the impact on the local economy, especially as our next door neighbours work in this industry which was valued at £240million in 2017. I'm concerned about the Battery Storage Units which represent a significant fire & pollution risk. I'm concerned about the experience & capability of Sunnica to deliver this project safely and efficiently. I'm alarmed to read that the project won't achieve carbon neutrality so adding to climate change resulting in more frequent flash flooding which we have already suffered in our street. My wife & I are frequent walkers traversing the local footpaths, especially since Covid-19 and more so now my wife has [Redacted], so I'm concerned about noise pollution from the humming electronics and the impact on wildlife with 30miles of security fencing. I cannot understand why as a country we want to cover over productive arable land with solar when there is plenty of much less productive scrubland nearby. I'm concerned about why the Solar Farm is so far away from a Substation and requires 15miles of cabling to reach it."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Daniel Cant
"I am opposed to the current Sunnica proposal for a number of reasons. Firstly it is far too large for the surrounding area, taking a massive amount of the green space and quality agricultural land around many historical villages. The huge amount of agricultural land that would have a change of use and be rendered useless for future agricultural use would be reckless. At a time when the world and the UK especially is having trouble with the supply and distribution of goods, I feel it is essential to keep our agricultural land as exactly that. The proposal is too close to the villages. The batteries proposed are huge and a potential risk to the safety of the whole area. I am also highly sceptical of the true "Solar energy" capture it will be providing. I suspect the land will be used more for storing energy rather than farming it. What is the true carbon footprint of the project over 20 years, taking into account the production, maintenance and disposal of batteries and solar panels? I doubt it is what they claim. No to Sunnica from me."
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Andrew Clegg
"I am writing to object to the proposed Sunnica development close to my village for the following reasons:- The sheer scale of this development in a rural community. Whilst recent events have highlighted the need to produce as much of our own energy as possible they have also highlighted the major issues with basic food chains around the world. This area of Est Anglia is one of the most highly mechanised and therefore cost effective areas of food production in this country. Existing solar farms have already reduced capacity for food production and this proposal will mean a significant reduction in available arable land which cannot be replaced elsewhere. The proposal also mentions the owner being responsible for the decommissioning of the site at the end of its 30/40 years span but can this easily be achieved and the land returned to its original use? My understanding is that the whole argument for the use of renewables is to reduce our carbon footprint but the sheer scale of this project results it is projected in an increase in our carbon footprint and not the required decrease. The proposed battery storage on site is extremely worrying as a local resident . there have been a number of instances of fire breaking out at these sites and all the fire authorities can do is allow the fires to burn themselves out releasing toxic gases into the environment. As small rural communities our fire services are not geared up nor funded to deal with such events. The building of this proposed development will result in a significant number of lorry movements on already busy minor roads. I have lived in Isleham for some 25 years and increased traffic volumes have been seen following recent housing developments in all local communities. The minor roads are now in the worse state that I have ever seen many built on fen soils which results in subsidence and cracking on a regular basis. Significant lorry movements will seriously increase the deterioration of these roads. I am not against solar energy as I have had solar panels on my roof for many years and am more that happy to recommend their benefits to friend and family but the use of prime agricultural land is a step too far in my view. Sunnica have also been very tardy at meeting with local residents and listening to their concerns which leads me to believe this is very much an opportunistic land grab using the difficulties of the Covid outbreak as an easy excuse for not fully engaging with local residents."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dean Alford
"Devalue property price Building works will interfere with daily commute Lack of local jobs"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dena Thompson
"I do not agree with putting these huge batteries on our arable land"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Diana Jones
"1. In this more and more unstable world the UK needs to be more self-sufficient, especially in the need to feed ourselves. The land proposed to be used for the Sunnica project is highly productive by providing two yields each year of vegetables and wheat. Known as the Breadbasket of England it supplies all the major supermarkets. 2. Importing food from all over the world cannot be better, greener, than growing our own. Utilising prime agricultural land for energy making is a double mistake - by using this productive land for this low efficiency method of providing electricity. There are other more effective ways of making electricity that are greener. 3. How Green are these panels? I understand they are made in China, so the other side of the world and must be brought here. Who are they made by? I understand they maybe made be made by using Uighurs as forced labour. It is not acceptable to buy anything from China made by this method. 4. How green are the panels? How toxic are the constituents? Can they be recycled? who will pay for the recycling? Will the prime agricultural land being used be fit for agricultural use when the panels have finished their useful life? If the bulk of these panels cannot be fully recycle what will happen to them? At the moment there are thousands of of wind turbine sails and bodies being buried in landfill because there are not recyclable (in America at the moment but we have many turbines too). 5. The storage batteries can be extremely dangerous if the catch fire as a number of them already have. They cannot be put out and nearby houses would have to be evacuated. Not a good idea as this project will be constructed very near to private houses. 6. These solar panels will be constructed on sloping land as well as the farmland and therefore, no matter how many fences erected round the site, the thousands of panels will still be visible, i.e leaving our home, turning left the road curves and drops down hill. This land is part of the project and will be a depressingly vast eyesore. 7. Building this solar farm will cause major disruption over a wide area for several years, using roads that are barely wide enough for the farm vehicles that need to use them let alone vast trucks and machines. We have already experienced frustrating delays when the company were laying cables from the electricity station at Burwell along our local roads as part of this development with numerous traffic lights popping up on a six mile journey. 8. Planners from the Planning Inspectorate must come to this area to see exactly what damage will be done to the homes, villages and general ambiance of the whole area. It will be devastated."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Diane Fuller
"Good morning, I have a very strong objection to this massive unsafe eyesore. We live in a beautiful area of unspoilt Suffolk, we produce food and this area is the place for the sport of kings. It is full of history. It is beautiful and we live here. The Sunnica development sounds wonderful on paper, it help a bit with renewable energy, but it does not give a jot for those of us who live here. It is ugly, unsafe and just not wanted. All new buildings should have solar or renewable resources but they don't. I am totally against this development, please do not destroy our small part of the country."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lesley Burge on behalf of Doreen Bettell
"- Worried about loss of farmland. - Negative change to countryside - Concerned about fire safety and any other potential impact of battery storage units - We should find other areas to locate solar panels e.g. factories, office blocks other public buildings. Solar energy is important but not at cost of quality of life - We need to rely on our own food production and NOT lose valuable land - What about the negative impact on wildlife and their habitat - We are already losing natural landscape to housing developments - Why does the project have to be so big?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Karen Chaudhry
"I reject the Sunnica application fully, I live in the village of Isleham and there is only one field between our property and the solar farm. Objections include: Loss of agricultural land - whilst renewable energy schemes are absolutely vital, food supplies are also vital, and the use of good quality agricultural land rather than brownfield sites is just so wrong. Having seen so many houses being built why is it not a requirement that they all have solar panels installed even if only to contribute to their own energy supplies. Battery SAFETY - with such large battery storage the implications of a fire is huge in such proximity to houses/schools etc. Increased traffic and road closures and restricted access to green areas- including footpath closures. Most people who live in these villages chose to be rural and are happy to not have all of the amenities of cities. However this will be the worst of both worlds - there will be no increase in amenities but we won't be living in the countryside any longer as this will change the area from rural farming to industrial. This will have an impact on property sales. Impact on flora and fauna - inadequate plans to mitigate the effects. Noise pollution Atrocious interaction between Sunnica and locals to mitigate and listen to concerns"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Fiona Ferguson
"This scheme is totally unacceptable. Destroying acres of much needed farmland, local employment and scenes of natural beauty amongst so many other factors.It will also affect the property prices, the tourist industry and the encouragement to bring new business to the area. Who knows how long the land will take to recover after 40 years? Chinese solar panels? Huge electrical risks. It's an ABSOLUTE No."
Members of the Public/Businesses
G Halliwell
"I feel that the size of the site is too big ,taking over land that should be used for food production . The land is Sandy and not perhaps suitable for arable crops but perhaps for animals . With the current situation in Europe we should be less reliant on importing food ."
Members of the Public/Businesses
GDPR Protected 001
"The solar panels would cause more pollution after they have been used. It also takes up a lot of free space for farming. It would also put a risk to the houses in the area because they are prone to catching fire and are very hard to put out. As I am 13 years old, the pollution and effects of the solar panels will impact my generation more than anyone else. You would hate to ruin my generation’s experiences of growing up in the countryside, wouldn’t you? It has been scientifically proven that the green fields helped people with their mental health during lockdown and now people are taking this opportunity away from them. Finally, the batteries and solar panels are made using cobalt, which is mined in Congo by children younger than me. This is encouraging unfair pay and child labour."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Graham Hopkins
"I understand that there any many objections to this proposal, and I understand people's concerns, but I feel that in the current climate, that projects like this are essential to replace the existing fossil fuel and nuclear power plants. I like many, are not delighted with the visual impact it will have on the countryside, but I also recognise, that without projects like this we won't be able to continue to meet the country's energy requirements, so in balance I feel the project needs to go ahead."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ian Hawkins
"The proposed solar and battery power plant will waste 2800 acres of productive arable farm land growing vegetable and cereal crops, as this country is not food self sufficient thousands of tons of food will have to be imported to make up the short fall coursing a significant carbon foot print, we should be improving our food security! The Lithium-Ion batteries used in the proposed power station of an undisclosed capacity are proven to be extremely dangerous and have been banned in some parts of the world due to the fact they are prone to catching fire and can not extinguished, the fires give off extremely toxic fumes that dissolve the calcium in the body, it would be a mistake to site these batteries near to residential areas and schools, nor should it be sited over an aquafer used to supply our drinking water. The proposed solar power plant will be so large it will significantly affect the landscape and change the biodiversity turning it in to an industrial area and deprive local residents of there countryside. There is no guarantee that the site will be returned to agricultural use after forty years."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Ivy Elaine Attree
"Very concerned regarding traffic of high volume regarding 700 staff ,vans, heavy duty lorries and construction deliveries for 6 days a week for two years going past our house, as all roads quoted for use are small village roads. Sunnica gave us no opportunity to come back on webinar answers, and the only meeting in two years last Wednesday they could not answer us on concerns over fire toxic fumes batteries and solar panel brands heights or volume as said not finalised could not confirm safe. Very concerned for bats newts stone curlews habits and breeding grounds. Concerned on deer fences as they cross the roads frequently. Health concerns on construction air particulates as I [redacted]. Loss of agricultural productive land. light pollution with spot lights cameras along panels and fences regarding security as we have owls in abundance around our houses could affect them. Loss off insect life in fields during 2 year construction as we have lots of swallows and swifts as well."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jane Grant
"This industrial battery storage/solar farm proposal is in the wrong place. It is close to villages and is using good agricultural land which is used for food production. The battery storage is a fire risk, being close to houses, schools etc. This amount of solar panels could cause a micro climate change. The substation is not near to the sites so there will be a considerable amount of cabling to it. Is there a law to make the developer responsible for the disposal (end of life) ahd restitution back to farmland or will it be down to local councils to dispose of the panels? There is a place for solar energy but not on this scale and not using good agricultural land bordering villages."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Janette Dart
"The proposed work will cause major disruption in the area making local journeys longer and problematic. The character of the surrounding land will be changed forever. Construction vehicles will clog the roads and damage road surfaces - we are already suffering from this due to all the building being done locally. The construction will cause noise and mess My daughter and family live in Mildenhall and I use Mildenhall Hub at least twice a week, when cables/pipeline was laid from Burwell 3 years ago there were times when I couldn't get there because of road closures - this will be worse I can see no benefit to the local community from this project"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jennifer Hawkins
"I am deeply concerned about Sunnica's proposals; 1 The safety implications of the batteries. 2 The close proximity to the community 3 The lose of productive farm land and food productivity. 4 The overall carbon foot print of the project. 5 The lose of the natural environment and scenery. 6 The lose of environmental biodiversity. 7 The lack of a guaranty to return the land back to agriculture. 8 The lose of employment in the area. 9 The lack of benefit to the local community. 10 The disruption caused during construction."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Joanne Griffiths
"I am against the building of the Sunnica power farm - although I believe solar is very important to the country and sustainable energy the size and scale of this development and the safety of the villages surrounding the farm are not a positive or healthy addition to our county"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jon Jennings
"I wish to raise the following points in relation to the Sunnica application 1. The inadequacy of the public consultation and engagement undertaken in relation to this project. Whilst this project is a National Infrastructure Project the level of consultation is akin to that of a modest housing scheme. 2. Allied to the above is the failure of Sunnica to engage with the local community and actually listen and take into account their views 3. There are concerns as to what is the true extent of the scheme and what measures are in place to it growing exponentially once consent is granted i.e. seeking for sites between Burwell, Fordham etc being included. 4. what is the true capacity of the cable and what additional solar farms could be linked into it. 5. The actual scale and location of the solar farm needs to be fixed and the application of the Rochdale envelope is not appropriate and due to the level of information and trust which exists between the applicants and the wider community 6. Deliberate degradation of the environment and removal of landscape features over the past 2-3 years and has the bio-diversity net gain been designed to address this. 7. There should be a comprehensive scheme of permissive footpaths within and adjoining the scheme to offset the adverse impacts of the scheme. This is feasible as the land adjoining the site is controlled by the site owners/applicants. 8. Questions about the extent and reliability of the surveys undertaken particularly with regards to ecology. 9. Questions as to the way certain parts of the site are to be developed i.e. removal of top soil and areas of species rich breckland grassland and their replacement with a standard species mix. 10. Ensure that the proposed landscaping is properly maintained and protected for a period considerably in excess of the 40 years lifespan of the project. 11. Further details as to the programming of the project are required as well as proper details regarding delivery routes for HGVs and employees 12. Details of the demand for further battery storage at Burwell, bearing in mind this the sub-station site has already been subject to considerable expansion with the provision of numerous battery storage facilities. 13. What is the true CO2 measure of this facility, and are the CO2 levels being offset in the likely event that the solar panels are manufactured overseas and how many years will it take for the scheme to offset the carbon used in its installation. 14. How many houses will this scheme really provide power for and is it really to provide power at times of high demand at higher costs than meeting a true need for energy. 15. Questions are raised as what sites have really been assessed rather than the exercise appearing to be a fishing exercise to find landowners interested in their land being promoted."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julia Huffer
"This scheme has almost nothing to do with renewable energy but everything to do with making money. The scheme will only generate 1600 hours a year maximum of solar power, with the enormous battery storage units being used to take power from the National Grid when the rate is low and then selling it back to the National Grid when the demand and price goes up. No consideration has been given to the close location of the battery storage units to village settlements. 38 fires in the last three years involving these batteries have resulted in evacuation of thousands of residents who were not as close as these residents to the storage units. The land classification conducted by the applicants surveyor is flawed. Farmers whose land is adjacent to these sites know what grade their land is and it’s not 3b/4 . This must be addressed by the Inspector. The lack of engagement has resulted in the community growing to resent renewable energy rather than embrace it. Please listen to the people and make Sunnica accountable."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Julie Fisher
"My first point is around using fertile farming land to build the solar farm on. This country needs to be more self sufficient with basic food production, this is of increased importance in the current situation in the world. It will also have a massive impact on the wildlife and ecology of the area. The carbon footprint of importing the solar panels and the amount of increased local traffic through small villages. I understand they will be imported from China who use cheap labour and their human rights are abhorrent. BESS batteries remain a huge risk to a very large area if they catch fire. I understand they cannot be put out and emit toxic fumes! All to be near homes. We need green energy but in the right place where the land is barren, not on good quality, well irrigated farm land.100 acres of concrete will be laid and this fertile land lost for over forty years!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Karin
"I am writing as a villager . The agricultural land of the fens has produced high quality food for centuries. The greenfield land being used for sunnica is good quality irrigated vegetable growing farmland The miles of cabling and delivery of the infrastructure will have to travel through quiet country roads ,the network cannot cope with the traffic already. It will become even more unsafe to walk or cycle the country lanes. Habitat of much species of wildlife will be decimated. We cannot afford to lose this land, British produce is best Slave labour used for solar panel production from China,not something I wish to encourage Values of property will be decimated miles and miles of fencing causing a blot in the landscape Currently as the fens are so flat,it won’t be hidden in the distance"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Lesley Burge
"- Permanent loss of green sites/farmland - Self-sufficiency; More important than ever that we retain farmland to grow our own food/crops - Safety concerns over huge battery storage units - Unsociable impact of battery storage units on residents - Need to find alternative solutions in industrial areas away from residential areas - Do they really know what they are doing? - Unproven project on this vast scale"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Linda Coote
"The size of this development is too large and will swamp the surrounding areas. The land to be used is good farmland. A large percentage of the Fens is already being lost by being converted from farmland to wetlands, and this scheme will increase our dependancy on imported crops, which, in these turbulent times, is something we should avoid. A great deal of farmland in this area has already been lost recently to the construction of housing and this scheme will further decrease food production considerably. Wildlife will be severly affected by this construction and the amount of trees and plants which will be destroyed will create more carbon. The construction of the scheme will cause noise, disruption and inconvenience to the local people, who will gain no benefit from it."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Maddie MacKenzie
"I reject the Sunnica application fully, I live in the village of Worlington here are some of the reasons to my objection. Disruption to my daily life and routine due to; • increased traffic, through the village effectively cutting where we live in half. (there are no pedestrian crossings) • road closures, my daily journey to school will be longer and take me through Mildenhall where there is already long delays at peak times. (est extra hour to my day just for school runs) • temporary traffic lights, these are to be installed in the village at a point that will cause huge disruption and delays. • restricted access to green areas- including footpath closures. • visual impact, visible when in my home, travelling to school, work and the shops. • will change the area in a dramatic way from rural farming to industrial. Will effect mine and my families health; • dust pollution – [redacted] • noise pollution- [redacted] • loss of outside green space – no escape from the visual impact of the scheme • mental well being- there will be no escaping the impact of this scheme with out getting in my car and driving away. • I suffer with [redacted] - this proposed scheme has already caused our well-being to deteriorate, I am scared what will happen if the proposal is passed. Property • I chose to live in a small rural village, will become an industrial area • scheme will be visible from my house, presently our out look is green fields and paddocks. • problems selling on, people are already having problems selling their houses in the village, this will only increase if this application is passed. • property values affected we will be trapped living in an industrial site as we will not have the funds to leave. Safety • battery storage- fires, toxic gasses • close to my house- I am located between two large battery storage sites, being down wind from one of them. • My sons school is in close proximity of the large battery sites • increased traffic in small rural villages lacking crossings and traffic calming measures. • Roads – these are village roads within very old villages containing many listed buildings and monuments. They are not designed for large HGV’s. In many places such vehicles will be unable to pass without taking up the whole road. Flora and fauna • Wildlife and conservation are very important to me, I feel this scheme will have a devastating effect on our diverse flora and fauna. including the chalk streams that run alongside the site. • We have stone curlews in the field behind, great crested newts in our garden and a vast amount of different species of bats and raptors. • We have both rare and endangered flora in and around the proposed site that will be at risk both in construction and ongoing. In short this scheme will ruin the countryside and the way of life here forever. I wish to be kept up to date and informed at all stages, my contact details are [redacted]"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mark Wiggin
"I am writing to strongly object to this application in the strongest possible terms. The site is totally inappropriate and will have a large detrimental impact on the neighbouring villages and neighbours, it is far too sporadic. A site such as this will also have a huge impact on the environment and will do more damage than good.The other main issue is the question of the batteries and the potential fire risk that they offer. We all believe in solar but this site has been badly thought through, is a danger to the surrounding area and will be generating more carbon that saving--madness."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mark Wilson
"I can not see how the well known flawed proposal by Sunnica can be allowed to go ahead. I think it is absolutely appalling that Sunnica can take land away from their long established owners against their wishes. We need farm land and green areas to feed the nation more now than ever before. Solar panels should be confined to built up and industrial areas, brown sites and residential property with the owners and residents consent. I am fully against Sunnica’s proposal. Yours sincerely Mark Wilson"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Meg Clarke
"I am objecting to this application. I live in Cambridge but I am a frequent visitor to Isleham, Isleham Fen and the local area at all times of year. I consider this application will harm the environment beyond reasonable adjustment from the point of view of - biodiversity - the proposed solar farm will impact local species of birds, flowers, insects and mammals - amenity - the proposal will have an adverse effect on the quality of life for local residents and visitors through visual intrusion, heavy traffic in construction, risk of fire - scale of impact - the proposed solar farm is far too large for the setting and in no way in keeping with a rural agricultural area - detriment to the local economy - a few people may be able to obtain employment. The majority of local people will see the countryside ruined with an adverse impact on visitors like me, who come for the quiet beauty of the area and regularly spend money in Isleham for accommodation and sustenance."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Irons
"1) Only small scale location drawings supplied - no definitive locations shown with road names etc. & with adjoining properties & structures being shown. 2) No information given as to street view showing size/height of installation along with impact on scenic view & natural habitat. 3) No information provided on disruption/impact on traffic during cable laying and traffic flow required during installation works, bearing in mind the small road widths leading to proposed installation. 4) What are the position & size of the battery storage points, any dangers caused & how are batteries disposed of on completion of their usable life"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Michael Keith Timmins
"The shear size of this proposal will have a significant negative impact on the landscape, both from a visual and practical point of view. There will be a tragic loss of productive farming land, and the impact on the local wildlife will be massive. With the current situation whereby the future of our electricity supply is being actively discussed, it is vital that as many alternatives to fossil fuels are sought as possible. Solar together with Wind Power and Fracking are bound to be part of our future but it is also vital that they fit in with the local population. The Sunnica project impacts Too Much on Too Many local villages and villagers and MUST BE STOPPED. Other worries I have are the disruption to the local areas during the construction stages, the risk of battery failures and possible fires and the fact there are simply NO benefits to the local villages only negatives. Surely there are areas of the UK that offer sufficient “square miles” that are suitable for such Solar projects and are a distance from human populations."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mr Stephen Parker
"As a recently departed Freckenham resident, I am writing to continue my objection to the Sunica project. My objections are the following: 1) Solar panels are an extremely wasteful use of agricultural land. Compared with a small nuclear power station they take up vast amounts of space and do not provide energy 24/7. 2) If solar is such a good idea, why are not all new buildings (residential and commercial) required by law to be equipped with solar panels. This would free up agricultural land to be used for food production. Recent events in Ukraine are showing the need for the UK to be far less dependent on foreign sourcing, especially grain. Sunica should be stopped until a full national energy strategy has been formulated."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Elisa Smith
"I live in Red Lodge and I strongly object to the Sunnica Solar Farm due to the following reasons: - The consultations were very poor. - The enormous battery storage are not safe at all and Sunnica cannot guarantee they will be safe! - This huge 2,500 acre plant will be extremely close to the 3 primary schools one of which my children attend! To have these batteries so close is a worry to parents & teachers. - Very close to the surrounding villages i.e. Red Lodge, Isleham, Chippenham, Worlington, West Row, Kennett, Freckenham, Snailwell & Fordham. This solar plant should be placed in the middle of nowhere, away from residential areas. - The use of very good agricultural land will be taken away. Suffolk land grows very much needed crops etc. Wheat, potatoes, onions, parsnips, carrots and more. Especially needed at the present time. Suffolk is also famed for its archaeological finds, with artefacts from the Bronze Age being found around the county, including a significant site near Mildenhall near Worlington. - There will be drastic impact on amenity - This is not good renewable energy. This must not go ahead! It will be madness to waste such excellent agricultural land."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Heather Tilbrook
"I object to this scheme in the strongest possible terms. As a Farmer, I strongly believe that we should use prime, productive farmland to produce food for the nation, not to cover it with solar panels. This scheme is too big for this area and will take up too much prime, productive farmland for solar panels, which are notoriously inefficient at producing electricity, due to our uncertain, inclement climate. This is a working farm. The main contractor’s compound is due to be sited directly opposite my farm drive. It will greatly inconvenience the farm drive’s regular use by the farm vehicles at all times of the year. The service road that runs from the A11 to the B1085, around the farm boundary, is extremely narrow. Two cars may pass with extreme caution. It is totally unsuitable for HGVs and extremely large construction vehicles. A battery storage site is planned to be sited very close to my house and the houses of my two daughters and their families. These batteries are notoriously unstable and can explode, resulting in toxic gasses escaping into the surrounding area. Our homes are in the direct line of any toxic gasses, in the event of an explosion. In which case, no doubt, we are considered to be expendable. Thank you for reading my submission."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Mrs Jeanette Borderick
"Sunnica Energy Farm will take 600 times more land to deliver the same power as a traditional power station, so the land use is not good value for money. Sunnica claims that it will be a 500 MW solar power station, delivering 23.5 million MWh over 40 years and it will occupy 11 sq km of arable land. That sounds impressive. However, when you break down the numbers, per year that is 587,500 MWh, which, when divided by 8,760 hours per year, is only 67.07 MW, not 500 MW. Large-scale solar developments are generally a poor use of valuable land. Giving a currently relevant example: Russia and Ukraine. Vast harvests of grain have been habitually gathered there each year, but it is extremely unlikely there will be a planting season in Ukraine this year. Grain from Russia will, most likely, be subjected to an embargo which will last for many years. Worldwide prices will soar. Since we get some of our grain from those regions, now more than ever, we need to protect our arable countryside and insist that we become food secure and grow our own food. By growing more of our own food locally, we also cut carbon emissions in transportation. It is essential that we address the key issue of allowing developers to get away with putting vast industrial plants on good arable land that we could grow grain and/or other crops on (or have cattle, sheep & pigs graze on) to develop our food security. For me, that is an essential point. The war that Russia is conducting should be a warning signal to us all. We should get ahead now by ensuring we have our own land available to plant for future years. As well as food security, I fully appreciate that we need to secure our economy against external oil and gas influences. Until we have solar on every large building, there should be none in fields at all. Development of this nature should be guided away from the “best and most fertile” agricultural land and, where possible, utilise developed brownfield sites, contaminated land, industrial land or agricultural land that is classified 3b, 4 or 5, certainly not 1 or 2. With solar we have a choice: brownfield sites, industrial sites, rooftops or good agricultural land. For our food security, we have no choice. It is only available through good agricultural land. Finally, I want to highlight human rights abuses. A 2021 report by the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University, entitled “In Broad Daylight: Uyghur Forced Labour and Global Solar Supply Chains”, concluded that the solar panel industry in China has high exposure to supply chain compromise by human rights abuses—in other words, child labour and the institutional abuse of workers. We are buying equipment to put in England, but allowing the abuse of people’s rights in China to do it. Should we allow this to proceed, this government will, quite rightly, be called out on this issue."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Pamela King
"I am totally against the project on the following grounds: 1) Our countryside is a mix of agricultural land as well as a home for a rich variety of wildlife habitat and should be treasured. 2) Covering our small county with solar panels would make it unusable for food production."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Pamela Timmins
"The size of this proposal will have a significant negative impact on the landscape, both from a visual and practical point of view. There will be a tragic loss of productive farming land, and the impact on the local wildlife will be massive. The Sunnica project impacts Too Much on Too Many local villages and villagers and MUST BE STOPPED. I have worries about the disruption to the local areas during the construction stages, the risk of battery failures and possible fires and the fact there are simply NO benefits to the local villages only negatives. Are there NO areas of the UK that offer sufficient “square miles” that are suitable for such Solar projects and are a distance from human populations."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Paul Brooks
"I would like to oppose the Sunnica Application on the grounds that it inappropriate to place an industrial power plant around rural villages. Some of the many reasons why I oppose this application are: The size and scale of this development is only about charging batteries and storing Solar power and then selling it later at profit, during the night hours. The impact on traffic and disruption to local peoples lives who gain no benefit from the application, and this is for a period of more than 3 years, 6 days a week and 12-13 hours a day. I also believe the roads in the area not big enough or this level of traffic as the width of local roads are not suitable for a vastly increased level of HGV traffic. There are significant risks to the industrial battery storage in terms of Health and Safety when considering the potential of Fire with large steel contain full of batteries, which f they caught fire, the Fire brigade don’t know how to extinguish this type of fire. Also, the fire will give off toxic gasses and there will be danger to life. In Environmental terms following a battery container Fire pollutants and toxic material will leach into the ground and possibly migrate to the water table! Loss of productive farmland, this I know to be true as being a resident of Freckenham I often take walks in the countryside, walking the margins and between the fields with crops. I often walk to nearby villages of Isleham and Worlingham, and it is not acceptable for the rural landscape to be lost. Visual Appearances will be blighted for 10 – 15 years before screening vegetation grows to a size to be effective. Sunnica in a conversation with Parish councillors prior to one sided pubic consultation meetings, stated the intention was the plant 1-2 year old screening trees and bushes, at this time they freely stated it would take at least 10 years for these seedings to grow to a hight where they would shield the view for Solar panels. Being a Freckenham resident I also know the public consultation was wholly inadequate. This was affected by Covid, but to swap live discussions for online “Teams” presentations by the Sunnica consortium who handpicked the typed questions they wanted to answer and muted the residents’ microphones, so no retorts or discord was recorded, when their answers were given. These videos if viewed later at some point would give the impression that the participants were happy with Sunnica’s answers. For years people who chose to live in a calm quiet rural setting will be disrupted in their daily lives. This also comes at a time then food security of an Island nation should be considered more important. I would also contend that a lot of wheat or other crops could be grown on 2,792 acres."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Peter Doe
"We object to the Sunnica scheme for the following reasons: 1. 2800 acres of agricultural land will be stolen, an area greater than Heathrow airport. 2. Sunnica’s proposal is equivalent to the sum of the ten largest solar farms in the UK 3. The largest European solar farm at Nunez Balboa in southern Spain has roughly the same out output as Sunnica but is in virtual desert with a population density of 31 people per square kilometre whereas East Anglia has a density of 326 people per square kilometre. 4. The enormous Chinese ‘great wall of solar’ is three times the size of Sunnica but is in the arid, uninhabited Tengger desert in Mongolia which is useless for cultivation of any kind. 5. We feel that the 77 acres of battery energy storage and their closeness to our villages poses a potential catastrophe if this largely untried technology is forced on us in such a densely populated area. 6. Valuable agricultural land should be retained for producing crops to help our self sufficiency in feeding our nation and for providing habitats for wildlife. 7. Brownfield land, industrial buildings’ roofs and new build homes should be used for solar energy production. 8. HOW WILL THE 100 ACRES OF CONCRETE, 1000000 SOLAR PANELS AND TONS OF LI-ION BATTERIES BE SAFELY DISPOSED OF AND THE COUNTRYSIDE RETURNED TO ITS ORIGINAL CONDITION? WHO WILL BE RESPONSIBLE?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Priscilla McDonagh
"Hi this is the land owner of caravan site in redlodge elms Road. We live less that 100 meters from the battery energy storage systems . We have never consulted by sunnica or anyone who works for or with them . We belive the batteries are very dangerous and it's not right that they have never been discussed with us. We know the farm lands beside us where there putting the panels grows good vegetable crops and we do not belive sunnicas opinion that the land is bad land .we think the land should be looked at by a quality expert. We are aware that sunnica scheme creates more carbon than it ever saves . We don't not want them beside us we have lots of small children some of them who are already ill . We will not feel safe in our homes . It's very unfair that we weren't consulted as we love the closest to it . Priscilla McDonagh"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rebecca Humphrey
"Writing to object to the creation of the Sunnica solar farm as plans have let out; this would be a blight on the county and take a huge toll on the environment including the birds, wildlife and nature of the area. Greener energy is the way forward but surely a farm of this scale is irrelevant; especially as we move toward more sustainable power alternatives. Not to mention the area is known for it's newt population which are endangered species; and is an integral part of the ecosystem of suffolk."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Flynn
"I don’t believe that the Sunnica proposals are suitable for the area proposed. My concerns are listed below: - This is prime agricultural land, used for food production. It is not wasteland, it already is being used for a critical function. - Although renewable energy is fantastic, I don’t understand why this whole development is being treated as one project. It should be multiple applications that could be assessed on an individual basis. Some of the development might be great, other parts do not consider the local residents, food production or the environment. - It has not been shown how Sunnica would restore the land to agricultural use after the usable life of the solar & battery systems. - The roads are not suitable for a development of this scale. To deliver the tens of thousands of solar panels and associated equipment would be dangerous and affect us and others who use these roads on a daily basis for school, commuting to work etc."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Richard Saul
"I find that I cannot support the Sunnica proposal as submitted due to the following: a) The placement/location of the Elms Road BESS and the associated hazards created by both its use of lithium batteries and its proximity to residents and schools b) The proposed use of the BESS for both the green initiative of Solar energy collection & storage, alongside a non-green initiative of energy trading (grid balancing) for no other purpose that to make the project more profitable at the expense of a larger size storage facility and the associated increased risk. c) Reduction in 'countryside' footpaths leading from our village and industrial views on the remaining paths & by-ways to the north and north west of the village. The whole solar farm changing from a peaceful rural landscape to an industrial solar plant. d) Impact of increased traffic and heavy goods vehicles on the two islands directly off the slip roads from the A11 and road from Worlington, to the north of the village. The islands are already poorly maintained, often suffering from pot-holes and when wet, very slippy with mud from the quarry - this could be very dangerous with the sizeable HGVs carrying battery storage containers - this needs addressing in the Sunnica proposals e) Land classification grades presented by Sunnica are out of date and not consistent with DEFRA's Agricultural Land Classifications - land owners will not allow independent land analysis and Sunnica have not provided results of their detailed analysis - until the land is independently analysed the project shouldn't go ahead - we cannot loose good agricultural land - we cannot grow crops on buildings and brown field sites, but we can put solar panels there f) Sunnica need to be made responsible for decommissioning of the solar plant after 40 years, their current proposal does not guarantee the land will be returned to its original state and that solar panels will be recycled. An escrow process needs to be set up with each solar farm owner and transferred with ownership - this is required to ensure decommissioning happens"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Robin Grant
"This is an industrial sized battery storage money making plan in the wrong place. The battery storage is a huge fire risk with toxic fumes and is close to houses, school's etc in rural areas with no fire service close by. Is there an evacuation plan in place? This proposal uses agricultural food producing land. The distance to the substation involves over 15 miles of cabling. No long term benefit to the local community as solar panels are made in China. Profits to a Spanish company. Is there going to be a legal requirement for the company to dispose of the hazardous waste at end of life or is it the taxpayers who will foot the bill? Receht events have shown we need to be more self sufficient in food production not take farmland for battery storage/solar park. Generations of farmers have improved the land and the proposal is to cover it in hundreds of tons of concrete with associated problems of water run off. Is there likely to be a micro climate change due to the size of the proposed area?"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Rosemarie Barnes
"I object to Sunnica taking over large swathes of Good Agricultural Land for Solar Panels. This land should be used for growing our own crops, instead of importing things we could grow ourselves. It should be mandatory that Every New House should have Solar Panels on. We have 9 panels on our house which we paid to have fitted in 2009 & are quite happy with them as long as the Sun shines!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sean Healy
"Good evening I’m writing this message to express my disappointment and anger of the Sunnica proposals, while I understand the need for renewable energy the extreme size of this plan is disgusting. The negative impact on the local area should be considered and refusing to do so is outrageous, the local people have spoke and they should be listened to"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Shaun Doherty
"The battery storage is totally unsafe and will leave a chemical blot on the landscape for hundreds of years. I do not want to live next door to this abominination shaun doherty"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Sheila Dilley
"I feel it's totally wrong to build the solar farm , not only will it be a blot on our landscape , but what happens to the wild life that inhabits the area ? Also this is Prime farmland and weve always been a farming community , then theres the fire hazard with the big ugly battery's to think about , it's a NO from me ."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Stefan Williams
"I strongly object to this application as the Land quality which its to be built on and disrupted is of very high Agricultural grade. I am an established vegetable agronomist whom works in this area and others throughout East Anglia. The quality of crops which I nurture from this land is second to none. To take this land out of valuable production, would in my opinion be a tremendous shame and a real incentive to other projects waiting in the wings. Regards Stefan Williams (Agronomist, Farmacy PLC.)"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Stephanie Mayall
"Climate change and the impact this will have on future generations is very much at the top of my immediate to action to do list. However, utilising highly productive, versatile, arable land in the area as a solar and battery power plant as proposed by Sunnica is not the best way. As external providers for our wheat is under threat due to the situation in Ukraine we need to become more self-sufficient while at the same time reducing the carbon footprint and to support the local community. I am definitely in favour of solar power and other renewable energies but surely using south-facing commercial rooftops and brownfield sites should be the first port of call for providing the UKs electricity requirements. Safety is also important to me and having a known fire risk and potential emitter of toxic gases in the proximity of residential areas especially near primary schools is an anathema to me. Contamination of protected water supplies and rivers during the installation and the decommissioning of the Sunnica Solar Panels. There have been a number of storms which have damaged various structures and these could damage the panels leading to a myriad of outcomes including toxic components entering the water supply. How can we see the work that is and has been done by so many people to increase the biodiversity of the wildlife by establishing and retaining the natural habitats within the area? Creating these solar sites will necessitate construction materials being moved onto the sites by HGVs disrupting the roads, fields and rivers and ditches. The movement of lorries and heavy construction traffic and digging of cable trenches will also affect the archaeological and heritage, including churches, listed buildings, conservation areas in the region. During the Covid-19 pandemic, local residents’ access to the fenlands has been found to be important in their mental health which is as crucial as their physical health."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Susie McKeever
"I have many problems with regard to the details: Importing the solar panels and owned 100% by foreigners; Chinese method of employment; 100 acres of concrete; 30 miles security fencing; 12m high extension at Burwell; Greenfield land being used; HUGE impact on homes; LOSS OF PRODUCTIVE FARMLAND at a time when we badly need it. And most important of all to us, a VERY damaging impact on the center of the racing industry. My husband and I have an international racing trading business, and it is important for us to have Newmarket as it stands."
Non-Statutory Organisations
The Newmarket Stud Farmers Association
"The Newmarket Stud Farmers Association comprises of 63 Thoroughbred Stud Farms in the Newmarket area. Their prime business is to rear Thoroughbred horses to race in this country and Internationally. To this end they farm some 6,500 acres of prime land which has been developed and nurtured for over 300 years. Any loss of land would affect their business dramatically as it can take some 5 years to recover land lost by any means. The Association is greatly concerned that the proposed scheme would affect Members ability to carry out their business in the expected professional manner - indeed some would not be able to continue their business at all in their present form and to the expected standard. We are further concerned that a number of Members will be greatly affected by the 'battery storage' facilities. These are, we understand, a potentially highly flammable source which poses a very real risk to life with the creation of poisonous gases. The proposed siting of these units are very close indeed to dwellings and should not, under any circumstances, be situated near to houses or indeed near any Members very valuable livestock. We understand that the developers quote 35 lorry movements a day. We know the area well and any increase on the local lanes is not feasible. We understand that this figure is for lorries entering the site- they will of course have to leave the area which immediately doubles the number of movements. We think it extremely unlikely that even this figure is feasible for such a development and true figure will be considerably higher. We are further greatly concerned about the visual impact of the proposal. The area already has some 350 acres of 'solar farms' and it can be seen from them that these sites are highly detrimental to the nature of the countryside which has been nurtured over the past 300 years for the maximum benefit of Thoroughbred horse rearing and racing- a view that is held in great resect by many in this country and indeed International Bloodstock breeders. They respect the time and effort that has gone into making this area unique - certainly in this country and perhaps in the world. In conclusion the Newmarket Stud Farmers Association is not able to support this gross overdevelopment in any way."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Tim French
"Scale and Location of Solar Farm • The tragedy in Ukraine is highlighting the importance of food security. Much of the land is clearly fertile, high yield land supporting multiple types of crops. The UK cannot afford to lose such important agricultural land. Size of Battery Storage and Danger to Residents • Catastrophes such as Grenfell Tower illustrate how the UK needs to change its risk assessment of known hazardous materials. The scale of the batteries must be reduced. • This can be, at least partly, met if the project only installs the batteries it needs for solar generation. Installing large batteries for regeneration is totally incompatible with the green principles of this project. More batteries means more lithium, more manufacture, more transport. The negative environmental and carbon impact along with this increased fire risk must be recognised and this part of the project stopped. Dangerous Transportation Plans • The roads and pavements in Worlington are narrow making it dangerous for drivers and pedestrians. • The road between Worlington and Feckenham suffered a multi-fatality accident several years ago, and road safety is frequently raised as a concern with Parish and County Councils. The Sunnica plans show construction traffic for the entire Sunnica East Site A coming up Newmarket Road and turning left onto the B1102 at the Walnut Tree public house. This is a dangerous junction with poor visibility which results in frequent accidents. Large numbers of vans and heavy duty vehicles taking this route will pose a substantial risk to other road users and residents. Since the build is scheduled to last around two years it must be assumed that such traffic patterns would lead to fatalities. • Sunnica must build a service road linking Sunnica East A and B onto Elm Road. All construction traffic can then enter the site very close to the A11 junction at Red Lodge avoiding the need for journeys through Worlington and surrounding roads. Opportunity to Accelerate UK Renewable Energy Capability • As the largest solar park in the UK, this presents an excellent opportunity to build our solar technology base and meet the government’s ambition of a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’. The project should source a major proportion of the high-technology components (e.g. batteries and panels) from UK manufacturers. Need for Enhanced Landscaping Plan • People will walk lanes and paths and see nothing but panels up to 3.9m high. This is the height of a first-floor window on a house. The recent webinar by Sunnica indicated the landscaping would take 15 years to be effective. Combined with a two year build, residents and visitors will suffer the consequences for ~17 years before reasonable protection is afforded. A comprehensive landscape plan with dense tree planting is also an opportunity to extend the environmental benefit of this NSIP. The high CO2 impact of the build can be mitigated not just by the green energy generated, but the CO2 absorption by the landscaping. Inadequate Decommissioning Plan • Any granted application must include a fully scoped and funded decommissioning plan. This must come from central government since history clearly shows companies cannot be trusted to meet such a vital commitment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Trevor Reeve
"Having grown up and raised a family living in the Suffolk and Cambridgeshire countryside i consider myself to have the relevant life experience and knowledge of what living in the countryside entails. 1. The Rural character and landscape especially the far reaching panoramic views entering and exiting Isleham from the East will be devastatingly lost for good. 2. This change will have a massive detrimental effect to my well being affecting my quality of life and that of the local population, I deliberately moved to an isolated rural location to enjoy wide open countryside and promote this way of life. 3. The disruption this project will cause to movement of traffic, commercial, local and personal during construction is unacceptable, it will increase local costs in time delays and additional diversion miles, the noise, dust and annoyance caused will be unacceptable. 5. This scheme if approved will create 'no go' areas of desirability for people to live in and have an effect on local property values for thousands of local people. 4. The loss of open countryside will have a massive impact on wildlife. The RSPB currently report that the most endangered bird species are those that rely on open farmland, this area is habitat to Brown Hare, Birds of prey feed on small mammals living alongside and in the project area including hunting areas for at least Tawny and Barn owl, there is a small coppice and a stream that are located in this area whose inhabitants rely on open land. 5. The project is piecemeal in its design geared for maximum profit to the final developer rather than an appropriate scale in an appropriate location, arable land in the heart of East Anglia farming community turning green site to brown field land is not acceptable. 6. Retention of quality irrigated food producing land for generations to come outweighs any creation of brown field sites for limited life energy production. 7. The carbon footprint of this project is disastrous, concrete, plastic and poisonous metals, pollution and emissions during the construction from abroad imports and installation do not offset benefit when combined with the other points."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alexa Strater
"I object to the proposed solar farm. The completion of this project would make it difficult to sell my property in the future as there would be a smaller number of interested buyers. This is likely to reduce the valuation over time. The proposed solar farm will also dramatically change the landscape of the area and increase pollution and traffic. This will impact quality of life and ultimately health. I don’t believe that a proper assessment has been done to understand all the risks of a scheme like this and it is the residents who will pay the long term consequences of poor planning. Strongly object."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alfred Owen
". The loss of agricultural land for food growing production especially in these times of uncertainty. . The environmental destruction i.e. wildlife, loss of habitat. . The amount of heavy goods vehicles using local roads fatally unsuitable for the cause. . The noise and the pollution of the number of lorries passing our property will impact on my personal well being."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Alison Wilson
"*. The scheme is too big *. Very uncertain times, we may need the land for food crops *. Large industrial parks round Newmarket & Bury St. Edmunds which could be used for the solar panels. Brown field sites should be the first choice. *. Newmarket is a World Heritage Site and should be preserved at all costs. *. Local MP’s, councils and public are against the scheme. *."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Amanda Black
"As a local resident who lives extremely close to the affected area, I strongly object to Sunnica's proposed development for the following reasons; The size and scope of the development are inappropriate, are not in keeping with the surrounding area and will mean the loss of a significant amount (2,500 acres) of farm land. If the development were to go ahead, the surrounding villages would be locked within an industrial landscape, with potentially dangerous Battery Energy Storage Compounds positioned close to homes. This not only endangers the lives and livelihoods of residents currently living in the area, it also reduces the value of properties and the prosperity of the whole area. The impact of the development on the local horseracing industry would also be substantial, with increased traffic and construction work potentially endangering horses at local racing yards and stud farms and the blighting of the world-renowned views of the Limekilns Gallops potentially deterring new investors in Newmarket, which is known as the birthplace of the Sport of Kings. I believe it has been proven that the construction of the Sunnica development will leave a huge carbon footprint, that will not be offset within the time that the development will operate for - therefore, this is NOT an environmentally friendly scheme and would damage the UK's progress towards carbon-neutrality. I am strongly opposed to the Sunnica development, as it would be detrimental to local residents, employment and investment and it could add to the UK's carbon footprint, instead of reducing it. It would also taint Newmarket's unique place as the historic home of the racehorse."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Boyce
"I am and remain supportive of renewable energy, both solar and wind generation, however, I am of the view that this project goes too far, is too large and not in keeping with the nature and needs of the local area and communities. I have concerns over safety, impact on environment owing to its size, and the decommissioning at the end of 40 year window of use. I am not satisfied that these issues have been fully addressed and therefore oppose Sunnica’s proposed solar farm development."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Hindmarsh
"I am totally against this application made by Sunnica. I live locally and these are my reasons: * It has been shown that the project will not have any positive carbon reduction over it's lifetime - infact will make more carbon than it saves - once the production and transport of the panels is taken in to account * It goes against policy and sense - solar should be on brownfield sites/industrial rooftops etc and not productive farmland * Given the current international climate we need our farmland for food. Even after the solar farm has been decommisioned the land cannot be used for farming. Importing more food will further add to the carbon problem assocaited with this project. * Loss of farming in the area will result in a loss of jobs, industrialisation of the environement and destruction of our communities and the habitats of many species of animals. *Sunnica have been difficult to engage with and evasive about difficult questions. They plan to have an excess of battery storage facilities (of unknown fire risk as experimanetal and larger than anywhere else) so they can buy and store cheap electricity form the grid and sell it back at a profit. This just increases the price of electricity for consumers - profit ahead of safety and sense. *There is a rare chalk stream in the area which should be protected. *A project of this scale should not be near homes and communities."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew MacKenzie
"I disagree with the application; I do not believe the scheme would be net carbon zero or environmentally friendly. It will also be of little to no benefit to the local community. 1.1 I personally would be affected by this scheme, the countryside which currently surrounds my village would become fields of solar panels and containers filled with batteries. I cannot say for sure, but I am confident it would devalue my property, and if it was allowed to proceed would cause disruption to my life and the lives of my family and neighbors for many years. 1.2 The hundreds of daily lorry movements that would occur during the construction will be environmentally damaging, and cause chaos in the small villages that will be affected by the scheme. 1.3 Many of the local footpaths and possibly smaller roads would be closed during construction and due to their location, some of the footpaths may not be restored as they cut through areas where the solar panels are located. 2.1 I feel the scheme is effectively a green washing of an energy storage facility, as the battery storage capacity far exceeds the potential output of the solar panels, I suspect that the massive battery storage will be used to take power from the grid at times when it is not required (cheaper) and sold back at times of high demand to make huge profits for the owners of the scheme. 2.2 If the government requires massive battery storage facilities to meet future energy needs, they could be constructed on the large amount of brownfield land as identified below or included within the perimeter of the generating facility. 2.3 This scheme may help the government meet its net zero goal, but in truth, all it does is move where the impact is felt. In most cases to countries that are less inclined to be concerned with the environmental and social impacts that the mining of the natural resources required, and the manufacture of the solar panels and batteries creates. 3.1 The use of productive agricultural land for this scheme when in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire combined there is at least 1029.61 hectares of brownfield land, simply does not make sense (I could not find numbers for north Cambridgeshire). This area does not utilise any industrial roof space which I feel is key for the solar component of the governments net zero goal. 4.1 The scheme does not appear to have any provisions in place to return the land to agricultural use, or dispose/recycle the solar panels and battery storage at the end of the scheme. The site would likely become a collection of large brown field sites, probably left abandoned to become a scar on the landscape. 4.2 Assuming the panels and batteries lasted the entire length of the scheme (see next point), using current technologies the recycling of solar panels and the associated batteries is not economically feasible meaning it would all just get buried in the ground somewhere. 4.3 I also believe that given current battery technology the battery storage would require replacement several times over the projected life span of the scheme, I would guess that this has not been factored into any estimates as to the environmental impact of the scheme. I am basing this on personal experience of Li-ion battery usage in phones/laptops etc. and that these deteriorate considerably over their life span, and this is generally only 3-5 years – not the forty years that this scheme would be operational. 4.4 Additionally over the time span of the scheme, I would hope that solar panels and battery technology will develop to have better efficiency, higher charge densities etc, and at some point, it would become viable for the panels and batteries to be replaced with the new technology further adding to the environmental impact of the scheme. 5.1 The scheme would not provide any positive long term economic effects for the local community; any short-term effects would be small if even noticeable. If constructed the number of employees required to operate the site would be negligible. In summary I do not believe this scheme meets the ethos of the governments net zero goal, in terms of transitioning to a green and sustainable future, helping businesses and consumers to move to clean energy, and supporting hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Mead
"As someone who conducts an agricultural based business in the immediate area of Chippenham, i believe the Sunnica proposal will adversely affect the local environment and the quality of life for those living and working in the area. Furthermore I believe the Sunnica proposal will have a direct negative impact on my business."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Andrew Munro
"While I support the need for renewable energy this scheme is not justified by the local impacts and I strongly object. I will be making a written representation covering the following points: LACK OF DETAIL IN THE APPLICATION The application lacks detail and should not be consented based on the information provided. LOSS OF AGRICULTURAL LAND AND JOBS Loss of high quality productive agricultural land for a generation and lack of detail of how it will be restored. The impact of the scheme on UK food security is significant considering the number of solar schemes nationally and in this area. It will generate minimal local employment after construction, and construction employment will only be transient. There is a lack of detail on decommissioning and a risk that it will never be decommissioned. At the end of its useful life, it will be, in planning terms, “brown field” (previously developed) land ripe for development. INDUSTRIALISATION The industrialisation of an open rural area by PV panels, electricity substations and battery energy storage systems. The inefficient layout spread over an extended area requires multiple substations and multiple battery compounds. Industrialisation is compounded by the proposals for battery energy storage systems comprising numerous steel shipping containers. THE POOR LAND USE EFFICIENCY OF SOLAR PV AND THE EFFICIENCY OF PV ITSELF. Only 11% of the rated maximum output will reach the National Grid on average over a year. There is no local benefit, once power is in the grid it can be used anywhere in the UK. The inefficiency of PV means that larger areas of land are needed than for any other generation technology. BATTERY ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS There is an acute lack of information in the application on proposals for Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS). The applicant has identified 31 Ha of land for BESS, far more than that required to support PV generation. These batteries are likely to be used for purposes outside the scope of NSIP associated development. The safety and regulation of BESS is in doubt following numerous thermal runaway incidents. If consented Sunnica could become within the DCO limits the largest BESS system in the world. The potential size means that the emission of toxic gases in the event of incidents poses a serious risk to public health. ALTERNATIVES The exploration of alternatives is specious. There is lack of evidence on search for alternative locations and use made of criteria for search that only this project could satisfy. There is no evidence that alternative locations were properly considered. CARBON NEUTRALITY The scheme is unlikely to be carbon neutral in its lifetime of 40 years, already more than the typical lifetime of solar PV generation of 25 years. This is not a low carbon project. More than 1 million PV panels are highly likely to be shipped halfway round the world. The project itself is carbon intensive with multiple substations and extended cable routes. CONSTRUCTION TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PLAN The construction traffic management is misleading and is unrealistic."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Anne Owen
". Having gardening as my main hobby the amount of traffic proposed to be passing my garden daily will impact on my life considerably. . Should the traffic start at an early time then this will affect my sleep as the bedroom faces onto the road. . I am concerned about the amount of prime agricultural land being taken up by this project when, with a growing population, we need all the home grown food we can get. . The thought of having the electricity storage batteries being positioned close to residential, school areas is not appropriate. . The number of local people to be employed is so minimal as to not make a significant difference."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Antony Page
"I strongly object to this application because; As the primary access to the East Site is the B1085 the number of lorries passing my house carrying equipment will increase considerably as will both the noise level and the pollution which is unacceptable. 2500 Acres of good agricultural land will be used when we need it to feed the population. AS it is we are not self sufficient and the present war has shown we need to be. Over 1,000,000 solar panels will be installed and we do not know the effect this will have on peoples health, as they will be far too close to housing. Why do we need the scheme when huge Solar Farms in the North Sea, not far away at Weybourne, Norfolk are coming on stream. There is no guarantee that the land will be returned to its former agricultural use and this must be achieved for future generations. If this scheme is to go ahead which I sincerely hope it won`t Sunnica must place the money on a side account now to cover the cost of dismantelling and recycling so that we know it will be returned to its former glory. Over 100 acres of concrete will be laid, with 30 miles of security fencing,77 acres of battery storage compounds and 15 miles of cabling to the sub station. The disruption caused in the area will be untenable and the fact that 15 miles of cabling is required makes the whole project uneconomic. I am worried about the Sunica Bess since if it caught fire it cannot be extinguished and will cause pollution on a huge scale. Frankly proposing this colossal scheme in a built up area affecting 6 villages is ludicrous."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Archie Wright
"I am incredibly concerned about the size and scale of this project, something that is completely out of proportion to the local area. The scheme will also be directly responsible for emitting more carbon than it will ever be able to save over its useful life and is therefore not a green scheme. It will also alter the usage of prime British farmland which is incredibly valuable commodity at this time and should be protected."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Bob Cheyne
"I think the land should be used for what it was intended for ie growing crops and the rearing of animals for food. I also don’t want this part of country inundated with construction traffic."
Non-Statutory Organisations
British Horse Society
"British Horse Society (BHS) Access Field Officer East Region – registering interest The BHS note that the following Public Rights of Way (PROW) legally utilised by equestrians will be either directly, or indirectly affected by the development. This is not an exhaustive list. Burwell Byway 15 Burwell Byway 16 Burwell Byway 4 Snailwell Bridlepath 5 Redlodge Bridlepath 005 Freckenham Bridlepath 002X Freckenham Bridlepath 001 Freckenham Restricted Byway 002 Green Lane, Freckenham USRN 14601287 It is essential that mitigation is put in place for all PROW: 1 directly affected by the development, during the construction phase, and to ensure adequate reinstatement post construction 2 indirectly affected by the development, to ensure that equestrians can still use the routes safely with construction works going on in close proximity There are historic routes which do not currently appear on the definitive map which need consideration. There are a considerable number of these across all parishes affected by the development. Details of ones the British Horse Society have/will be submitting Definitive Map Modification orders for can be provided. Definitive Map Modification Orders will be submitted for these routes immediately, and thus must be considered throughout the planning phase of this proposed development It is noted within the Design and Access Statement section 5.3 Permissive Paths that 3 permissive routes will be created. It is unclear from the documentation: 1 where exactly these routes will run too and from. The maps referenced do not clearly show the specified routes 2 what designation the ‘permissive route’ will have. It is essential that equestrians are seriously included within the design and specifically of these routes and thus they are designated as a bridleway as a minimum 3 why these routes will be ‘permissive’ and not dedicated routes. A permissive route can be closed/removed at any time, therefore the expectation with a development such as this would be that additional PROW created to safeguard its existent in perpetuity"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Carol Challinor
"This solar farm development near Newmarket is not in keeping with the surrounding area. It will also use up good arable land, which should rather be used to feed the people of the United Kingdom."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Caroline Odonoghue
"Hi my name is Caroline odonoghue a family resident of [redacted]. I live less that 100 meters from where the battery energy storage systems plan to go. I have a [redacted] who's had [redacted]. I'm already in constant worry for my baby never mind to living next to such dangerous things . My child will need to be in safest place possible with [redacted] and having battery energy storage systems placed next us isint a safe environment what so ever!!We don't want them there. We have not been consulted by any member of sunnica or anyone else and its not right as we are right next to the land .we are aware of the carbon that the sunnica scheme causes . This cannot happen."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Goff
"I am strongly objecting to this application. The scheme is far too big for its location and affects too many villages and communities. It takes too much farmland out of production. It is not true that it is all low grade farmland. The battery energy storage compounds are far too large for the number of solar panels. I am very worried about the disruption it will bring to the 7 villages affected. The main body of the farm joins the historic training grounds of Newmarket managed by Jockey Club Estates and directly conflicts with the training of horses."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Jones
"If wind turbines are more efficient and cleaner than solar panels why are they not being used instead? This could keep the field encouraging and maintaining wildlife"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Catherine Meleuc
"Dear Planning Inspectorate representative, I live in Isleham with my [redacted] boy. We moved to the village 18 months ago and have just bought a house, looking forward to being part of a rural community for seve decades to come. Whilst I am fully on board with green energy, I want to see it done in a way that respects the environment we are leaving for the next generation. In my view, arable land is more valuable, both shoet and long term, than a solar farm because the solar farm has several drawbacks: 1. it will make arable land sterile and contaminated for decades after the solar farm has been dismantled, while the region is one of the most fertile in the UK and relies on farming for its economy. 2. the life of the solar panels compared to the energy benefits is very low. I believe it takes much longer to reap benefits than for the panels to degrade and reduce in efficiency. 3. panels are made from material that is not yet recyclable and their manufacturing has a huge CO2 footprint, and requires rare metals that are infamously polluting to mine, before they are even installed. I am not against solar panels but smaller units, maintained privately to outlast their return on investment, make more sense and can be installed on rooftops throughout the country to avoid using up fertile land we need to feed ourselves and future generations. 4. the installation would mean several months, at least, of heavy industrial traffic, meaning pollution and disruption in a rural location, with children cycling, families walking their dogs or visiting nature reserves. The disruption to commuters, as we would have to take long detours to get to work daily, would produce more car pollution as a result and impact traffic for the whole local area. I chose to live here specifically to reduce commute. Then there is a wealth of wildlife that will be negatively impacted. I often see muntjacs, pheasants, hare and smaller animals. Their habitat is at risk with this project of massive proportions. 5. storage batteries can catch fire, which in itself would be bad enough if it wasn't for the toxic fumes, so close to habitations and SCHOOLS. I would not feel safe knowing the winds, often strong in this part of England, could be bringing toxicity to myself and my son. This would seriously make me consider moving out of the area and house prices would definitely drop significantly. A rural exodus is not what society needs now. Isleham is a quiet village with a strong sense of community, as are the villages around. Families have lived here for generations. Such a construction may bring jobs in construction for people living in other parts of the country or world, but it will bring environmental and societal destruction to the local area. All to bring monetary profit to the few without actual gain for people or planet. I beg you to please reconsider Sunnica's application to build a solar farm in the area. The balance sheet is not in favour of the county, its people or its land. Their are alternatives to green energy that make sense for all but this is not one of them. Sincerely Catherine Meleuc"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Chris Rogers
"As a resident close to the proposed development, I am deeply worried about the increased HGV and plant during construction, on going, I protest at the loss of valuable arable land and despite promises of natural screening, the structure will be an eyesore and a blot on the landscape for future generations. It will also decrease the value of properties close by. I , like many, suffer from [redacted] and this will have a negative impact on my health and well being. Another concern is the disposal of the solar farm when it expires. Isleham is an expanding village and I fail to understand why such a structure is built next to residential properties and local primary school."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Christian Black
"As a local resident who lives extremely close to the affected area, I strongly object to Sunnica's proposed development because the size and scope of the development are inappropriate and will mean the loss of 2,500 acres of arable farm land. The surrounding villages would be close to dangerous Battery Energy Storage Compounds, which would have a negative impact on house prices and the community. The impact of the development on the local horseracing industry would also be substantial - the noise and traffic associated with the construction of the development would have a negative impact on horses at local racing yards and stud farms and having an industrial backdrop to the historic Limekilns Gallops could deter new investors in Newmarket and the industry. I am strongly opposed to the Sunnica development, as it would be detrimental to local residents, employment and investment."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Crystal Dalton
"I object to this application *greenfield land being taken should be for our farmers growing crops *would be killing habitats of 100’s of species of wildlife *Li-ion BESS can catch fire and impossible to put out This concerns me as I have small children"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Daisy Ussher
"This scheme appears to be using valuable farmland in vast quantities and will not even be a climate positive venture. It is a Spanish owned company with Chinese made panels with landowners clearly only in it to make money through trading electricity. It is huge in its scale, totally disproportionate to the area and will cause so much ongoing and lasting damage to the area."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dave Grimwade
"I wish to represent my objections to the Sunnica proposal because; - The scale of the project is far too large in my opinion - The visual impact to the countryside will be considerable - House prices in the locality will be negatively inpacted - Good quality farmland should be preserved for farming"
Members of the Public/Businesses
David Reed
"1. Burwell Energy Farm. This appears to occupy the area of the current substation in The Weirs. Currently, this area and the access road to it is a pleasant walk close to Burwell and Priory Wood. Judging from the recent solar and battery storage construction in close proximity to this, which has had a devastating effect on the ecology and wildlife along the weirs themselves, the effect of this much larger scheme in close proximity can only be worse. 2. Cabling and access to site. There is restricted access to the site to the west of Burwell. As is currently stands, there is limited access to the substation along Reach Road and The Weirs, but it looks as though further access would be needed NW of this. I am concerned that as with similar projects, heavy plant and lorries would be accessing via Toyse Lane and Silver Street, which are just residential roads already heavily used by commuters and by heavy vehicles accessing Dysons Drove, etc. In the past, it was promised that Howlen Balk to the north would be used, as a more direct route, but the reoad surface was deemed to be unsuitable!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Denis Field
"I object to this proposed scheme because:- Size and scale. Sprawling layout covering 2500acres of rural agricultural land surrounding five villages. This is industrialisation of the landscape. Cumulative impact. Already many Solar/BESS farms within a five-mile radius. Sunnica still refuse to provide details of the BESS’s and panels to be used, deliberately withholding information for two years. Risks of battery storage and failure. Current safety legislation regarding BESS’s are insufficient for such large-scale installations, posing a risk to residents from toxic fumes that are released in the event of a fire. Sunnica have repeatedly refused to state that the BESS’s are safe. BESS fire water. Sunnic propose that ‘lagoons’ will be constructed to store water for fire suppression, no provision has been made to prevent contaminated water draining into the aquifer. Drinking water for Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and London is sourced from this aquifer. Water course pollution will also cause harm to wildlife. Loss of productive farmland. Effect on food security has not been considered. The local farming production and heritage will be destroyed, changing centuries old farming community into an industrial zone. Unknown effect on buried archaeology, many important historical finds have been made in this area. Scheme not viable without unwelcome Compulsory Purchases & leases. There will be noise and dust pollution both during construction and sound disturbance from the equipment during the 40-year lifespan. Detrimental visual appearance, loss of historic landscape, wildlife, views and heritage. Sunnica state that the proposed ‘infill’ screening will not ‘hide’ the scheme for at least 15 years, compounding the loss of landscape. No community benefits. Sunnica have stated that only 27 jobs will be created to operate the scheme once constructed. Traffic and disruption during the two plus year of construction, presenting safety issues for residents. Most of the already busy affected villages have narrow streets & lanes, limited pavements and no pedestrian crossing points. Sunnica predict 1682 staff vehicle journeys and 202 HGV journeys daily, for six days a week. Construction requires the closure of roads, the introduction of traffic lights, road layout changes and Public Rights of Way closures. Some PRoW will be re-routed permanently adding to the loss of amenity and access to the countryside. Lack of a proper decommissioning bond. Sunnica are yet to provide any reassurance the area will be fully decommissioned. They state this will be taken care of towards the end of the scheme lifespan. Sunnica have not proven that the scheme is carbon neutral. They have not considered all of the carbon factors. Is there a need for the development? The 77acres of BESS’s vs the panel generation capacity, demonstrates that the scheme is designed for energy trading (profit), not generation. The Statutory Consultation was totally inadequate, run via ‘Webinars’ which many people did not have the technical ability or appropriate technology to join. Those who could, did not get their questions answered adequately and, in many cases, not responded to at all. i.e. Worlington Parish Council has not received any answers from Sunnica."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Derek McLean
"This development is not within keeping with the local area, and will take valuable productive arable land out of production."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Diane Grano
"I am concerned that the scale of the battery plant is going to be built on farming land and also the country side. There is a real concern about the close proximity of the battery plant to a growing village of young families and two primary schools. I am not confident that Sunica is acting responsibly, they have not been able to answer the questions asked, they will be handing the plant over and the community will be left with whatever risk they leave behind."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dojima Sake Brewery
"Against the size of the development, for safety reasons and loss of countryside. Huge Business interruption risk especially during the development stage and after the completion as the area will not be the same again. Who is compensating the loss? Loss of nature, idyllic country side, and devaluing the value of the property. Perhaps it never been done at this scale."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Dr Michael Sullivan
"There is a health problem with the batteries"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Elizabeth Grimwade
"I am objecting to the Sunnica energy farm proposal for the following reasons: - The current proposal will destroy a substantial area of productive farmland including farmland that has been in family ownership for generations and has now been compulsory purchased - The current proposal will destroy a substantial area of open field and woodland areas which make up the beauty of the local area. This beauty is enjoyed by not only the local communities but also attracts people from further afield including a significant number of tourists which would be lost. - The current proposal will cause a significant amount of disruption with construction traffic for the local area which is full of small country roads and not suitable for this traffic - The proposal goes against all the countries plans to become carbon neutral. Whilst it increases the amount of green energy the UK will produce this comes at a significant financial and non-financial cost to the local population and the UK in general"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Emma Anderson
"It is absurd that, at this time of national crisis in terms of the UK's food sustainability, that Sunnica should be proposing to destroy farmland to build the largest solar farm in Europe. The impact on the many villages in the vicinity will be huge and it is obvious that there will be a hugely negative effect on the racing industry too. This development has been poorly planned, the consultation negligible and it should not be allowed to go ahead."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Eric Bishop
"The size and scale of the proposal is out of keeping with the surrounding landscape and would spoil the countryside out look. The need for farmland now is higher than it has ever been so the land should be used to produce food not electricity. The batteries could have a major environment impact on the area and a fire risk. There is a need for green energy power production but I don't believe this project is a suitable answer."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Erin Holland
"I very much object to the sunnica solar scheme for many reasons including the ones listed below: - Suffolk is classed as an area of outstanding natural beauty. - The countryside will be lost for over 2 generations and there is no guarantee the land can be returned to its former agricultural use after 40 years. - This area is home to many, many, many species that will be badly affected by the plant. - What will happen to any trees in the proposed areas? University analysis shows the Sunnica scheme cannot be green and will create more carbon dioxide than it will ever save... - Any digging that will take place during construction will release carbon sequestered in the soil. - The panels will be installed on concrete bases. Concrete accounts for 9% of all carbon emissions and would also create an area barren of life. - In the uk, we are only 64% self sufficient in food. This scheme would mean we were even less so, causing more carbon emissions. We simply cannot afford to devote vast spaces of land to a power plant. - What will happen with the decommissioning of the panels? Is this creating another issue that the next generation will have to deal with? - The plant will embody the use of lithium, a finite resource which causes more environmental harm than fracking. - Lithium ion battery energy storage compounds can create fires that cannot be put out. The fires generate toxic fumes which can be lethal even in tiny amounts. Sunnica LTD has no experience of building battery energy storage compounds on this scale. - Dust generated during the construction will be hazardous to the lungs of humans and other species, particularly people with COPD and asthma. - The plant would be built by Smith brothers LTD, a Yorkshire company. Panels will most likely be bought from China (known to use slaves for some panel production) and profits will go to Sunnica's Spanish owners. There will be no monetary benefit (or really, any other benefit) for the people who will be subjected to living in this plant. We should hand the planet to the next generation in a better position, not a worse one."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Evelien Clifford
"Firstly there is the size of the largest proposed solar farm in the U.K. to be located on good agricultural land. And very, dangerously so (particularly if anything was to happen!), close to residential properties. Then there is the size of this development which is absolutely enormous! Why should this flat land have to bear the consequences of this grossly oversized project without a single benefit to those directly affected? It will be three times the size of the next largest proposed solar farm in the UK. There are definitely more and better suited spaces. Like alongside the A14 for example, or very simply put them on new builds whenever new estates go up. Which is a very popular choice in the rest of Europe, I wonder why?! Because it makes perfect sense to do so! There is the issue of taking valuable good agricultural land (Sunnica would have you believe otherwise). This will destroy wildlife corridors, nesting and feeding habitats. Along with natural trees, hedges and wind breaks to name but a few. This is not on brownfield sites. Good agricultural land is very valuable, recent world events only support this statement. As well as having been previously advised solar farms should only be build on previously developed and non-agricultural land that it is not of high environmental value. Batteries storage 120 yards away from a school. These Industrial Power plants should not be situated anywhere near schools or residential developments. This would potentially be a very dangerous situation. And so far Sunnica even when asked a direct question about this, in one of their most recent meetings, does not or cannot even answer this question about the safety of this or shall I say the huge risks involved with this. The disruption this project will cause during its construction over the next 2 years on the road network, tracks, underground utilities, railways, rivers and drains would have a horrendous impact on the local residents and wildlife habitat. Multiple roads being dug up between all the effected villages, traffic congestion is bad now. The carbon footprint of this alone is huge and we will have to import the crops previously grown on this land. I have been informed that the operational lifetime of the Sunnica Energy Farm is approx. 30+ years, these panels will be outdated and inefficient leaving a metal graveyard in its wake. In addition, Sunnica plan to sell the development once constructed, leaving a big question and concern regarding how the farm will be maintained. Furthermore, who will be responsible for recycling the panels at the end of their lifespan and managing the hazardous waste generated from the lithium batteries. All of the above and additional information I am aware of strengthens my view that this is not an acceptable proposol. Quite the opposite, the whole project is a major disaster for villages affected and surrounding. There is not a single advantage for the people who will have to live with this for the rest of their lives. Also a not insignificant details is that people in Isleham have been advised by local Estate Agents that property prices will fall if this project goes ahead. This is a big one, and who will compensate us?"
Parish Councils
Fordham Parish Council
"The Parish Council wishes to raise the following objections and concerns about the Sunnica application. 1- the area covered by the scheme is grade 3a arable land or better. Many of the residents have farmed this land all their lives and know what grade of land it is , the consultant paid by Sunnica failed to realistically assess the land in question properly, we would respectfully ask that the Inspector asks for an independent report. 2- we have real concerns about the safety of the Battery Storage Units. Our residents fear they will be living with a potential bomb on their doorstep, and have received no reassurance from Sunnica about the safety of their homes. 3- the volume of HGV traffic will blight the village for up to 3 years. Access to several of the sites will have to be through Fordham and we fear for residents safety. 4- we feel that there has been no proper consultation and no meaningful engagement between Sunnica and the residents many of whom are in favour of renewable energy but feel this scheme is in the wrong place , it should not be engulfing small villages but placed in remote areas away from settlements."
Parish Councils
Freckenham Parish Council
"Freckenham Parish Council objects to the Sunnica scheme as described in the DCO application, and in particular on the following points: 1. The excessive size and fragmented nature of the scheme appears to connect Freckenham and nearby villages together, and changes the character of the area from rural to industrial. 2. We object to the closure of parts of the U6006 Green Lane, cabling and other works planned there. This because of disruption to wildlife such as bats which feed and possibly roost there, damage to buried archaeology on the lane and its surroundings (not surveyed) and other permanent changes to the lane. 3. A significant archaeological record exists in and around Freckenham: the construction activity will damage this record, particularly in areas not surveyed. 4. Ecological surveys in and around Freckenham (including the Lee Brook) have shown active populations of wildlife such as Stone Curlew, Tawny Owls, Bats, rare Fish species and Water Voles. Disturbance during construction and inadequate proposed mitigation will negatively affect these populations. 5. During construction, the closure of ProW and roads, and construction traffic, will have significant negative effects on the amenity, health and well-being of residents. Horse riders using village roads including Mortimer Lane and the U6006 will be negatively affected. Village roads are narrow and unsuitable for HGV and over-sized vehicles. Local and Freckenham businesses, and residents, using roads within the scheme will be negatively impacted by increased traffic and disruption from highway changes. 6. The BESS compounds at Sunnica East A and B are too large and too close to residents' homes and amenities, including in adjacent parishes. Residents and business will be negatively affected by noise pollution from the BESS and associated equipment. We agree with statements in the Relevant Representation from West Suffolk Council about the inherent dangers of the BESS. All relevant data on the BESS is missing from the application, which prevents examination of it, and curtails our ability to comment on it. 7. Land in the village has been marked for Compulsory Purchase, affecting the Freckenham Conservation Area, the outer bailey of a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and land owned by the Charity of Katharine Shore (212795). Almost no detail has been provided, and suggests the routing of over-sized vehicles and HGV through the village causing significant disruption. 8. There must be an immediate fund to cover decommissioning of the scheme in case e.g. the technology is superseded or the scheme is uneconomic to operate. The permission duration is unacceptable, being far longer than the expected life of the solar panels. 9. There will be a significant loss of agricultural land in the parish, now growing a wide range of non-cereal crops including potatoes and grazing livestock, implying an ALC grading above 3b. 10. The site selection process was flawed, particularly for Sunnica East A, and the need for 1000 hectares has driven the site design. The design is visually unacceptable, underestimates impacts, and includes incomplete analysis on infrastructure areas such as the BESS compounds because of missing information. 11. There is no community benefit from the scheme."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gainsborough Thoroughbreds Ltd
"OBJECTION to Sunnica Energy Farm Planning Inspectorate Reference: EN010106 My son and I run a bloodstock business, incorporating both racing and breeding interests, in Newmarket, the racehorse “capital” of the UK since the 17th Century. It is a wonderful location in which to base our business and has some of the best training grounds in the country as well as premier stud farms standing some of the world’s best stallions. As such, we are very fortunate to have a large and diverse client-base of International Owners from around the world. Part of the appeal to our clients, and their support of our business, is attributed to the location as well as the heritage and tradition of horseracing and breeding in Newmarket. You only have to read the link below, taken from the Jockey Club’s website, to appreciate the history and subsequent appeal Newmarket has to existing and potential clients:- [redacted] Many of our clients visit Newmarket regularly to see their horses being trained. They also attend the two world-famous racecourses as well as the Tattersalls bloodstock sales held in the town throughout the year. The Sunnica proposal to develop the UK’s largest solar farm adjacent to Newmarket training grounds and stud farms will, we believe, have an enormously detrimental effect to the support of Newmarket from the wider International horseracing and breeding community. We have, of course, discussed the proposal with some of our Owners who have indicated that the prospect of having their horses being trained or bred so close to such a massive development, will, in effect, ruin the exclusivity of keeping horses in and around Newmarket and give them no option but to consider other racing and breeding centres. The history, heritage and tradition of Newmarket is renowned worldwide which is why it attracts so many of the premier racehorse Owners and Breeders. A development of this size will do nothing but harm the industry that has made Newmarket such a respected and appealing hub of International racing and breeding for Centuries. It would unquestionably threaten the continued support from all the major International clients that currently have business interests in Newmarket and the surrounding areas. If our clients relocate the potential for us to close our business or relocate would become a distinct possibility. Simon Crisford"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Geoffrey Cyril Jones
"Why Sunnica should not be allowed to build their solar panel site on 2500 acres of land as suggested: 1. The UK needs to be more and more self-sufficient, especially in the need to feed ourselves. The land proposed is highly efficient and productive in providing two yields of wheat and vegetables each year and supplies all the major UK supermarkets. 2. Solar energy which is one of the least efficient way of providing power to supply the National Grid. It will be a double mistake to take away prime agricultural land and use it to build low-efficiency energy supply resulting in higher imported food costs, and with the solar fields producing very low energy due to poor Northern Europe weather conditions. 3. Thousands of wind turbine sails are now being buried because they cannot be recycled. How much of the planned Solar Panels will be able to be recycled at the end of their useful life? This will be yet another gigantic toxic job for landfill! 4. I understand that the proposed panels will be made in China and delivered to the UK. How can we be sure that China isn’t using forced labour, Uyghar? If this is so, it is absolutely not acceptable to the UK and we need to be sure this doesn’t happen. 5. The storage batteries have been shown to be extremely dangerous emitting toxic smoke and fumes if they catch fire which cannot be put out. These batteries must not be stored within a distance of any schools and residential habitation. 6. This solar field will directly affect at least five local villages. No matter how high the fences erected round the solar fields, ugly in themselves in large quantities, the solar panels will still be visible from the higher areas, the. Beck Road heading towards Worlington and any homes on a hill. 7. If this allowed to go the prices of our homes will drop and we would like to know whether Sunnica will be compensating owners if they move at any time after permission to go ahead should be granted as the loss of amount due to Sunnica’s business may prevent the purchase of the same quality of home elsewhere? 8. Overall, this project seems like a very poor idea for this gentle, peaceful productive area and we hope that common sense will prevail in the Secretary of State’s Department and that someone from that Department will come to this area and see the devastating impact on all local residents’ quality of life. 9 The transfer of power from batteries to Burwell will mean massive disruption of roads and traffic in the 4mile trench proposed over a period of 2 years. 10 it appears that a flexible carpet roll-out type of solar panelling which can be used to quickly be laid on roofing or wrapped around awkward architectural structures is already well advanced and in use. Another lighter style of solar sheeting is apparently already being printed out in Mexico with the same ease as operators used to print over T-shirts. The emphasis for both will be on immediate local and community use. I bring this to your attention only to suggest that the ugly, expensive, fertile land spoiling, fire hazard technology to be used will be well out of date from the actual start of this project but remain with us as a terrible inefficient blot on the landscape over the following 30/40 years or so."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Geoffrey Hugh Calver
"As a local resident I am concerned about the size and scale of this proposed development, the loss of prime agricultural land, the negative effect on the local landscape and area, the impact on wildlife, the disruption and dangers caused by the potential heavy plant and equipment on local roads totally unsuitable to handle this traffic, the potential fire risk and associated harmful pollution associated with large-scale battery storage and the total loss of a beautiful landscape and environment. There are already solar farms in the area, but these do not impinge on local residential areas and are placed adjacent to main highways and provide a valuable contribution. I believe this proposal to be totally unnecessary on this scale and the impact on the quality of life in this area will be immeasurable, when there are surely many brownfield sites available as alternative locations."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Gillian Miller
"I believe that where alternative power is needed for the future this development is too big and will have a devastating impact on our countryside. The battery storage is going to be huge and it will call major disruption to our roads and community with its installation as well as future noise. The scheme is projected to be the biggest in the UK in a small area and could cause harm to residents mental well being seeing the countryside and habitat taken over."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hannah Murphy
"This project is unsightly. Will devalue the price of my property and is detrimental to local businesses. Also the concern of the batteries which have been reported as unsafe as they catch fire and explode is a safety concern."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Heather Davis
"I absolutely and strongly object to the Sunica solar farm on many levels, principally: Detrimental impact on wildlife, landscape, noise, environmental issues of battery and risk to fire, unsuitable location around rural idyllic villages. This must not happen!"
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hugh Anderson
"I work in the racing industry in Newmarket and live in Dalham. The proposed solar farm is, in my opinion, a huge and unmerited development that threatens an industry that is one of the jewels in the crown of British sport. High quality farmland, that abuts racehorse gallops, is being condemned to industrial development in a way that will unquestionably impact our sport in a negative way. The consultation with the sport has been almost non-existent and it seems perverse that we should be offering high quality arable land for such a scheme. It has no merits whatsoever and I strongly object to the Sunnica proposal."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Hugo Upton
"-Domestic renewable energy is required to substitute for our reliance on fossil fuels . -Large scale solar is an economically viable part of the necessary matrix of national renewable generation - Although the Sunnica scheme is in aggregate a large scale scheme it is in fact dispersed over 5 x seperate landscaped locations - the site is located on Land classified as a low grade agricultural land .This land is only viable for agricultural production subject to increasingly scarce irrigation water licenses issued by the Environment agency .These irrigation licenses are not guarenteed , are subject to increase control and regulation and capable of annual and periodic review and restriction .Without irrigation the land is only capable of low output extensive cultivation or grazing. -the land has become degraded by intrusive farming over many previous years. The soil has lost its structure and sequested carbon.It will benefit from being fallowed and planted with grass under the panels to restore both the soil`s structure , natural carbon balance and fertility. - the applicant appears to have made every effort to visually screen the site from adjacent receptors and being on flat land it will become nearly invisible from ground level ."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jacqueline Fanshawe
"I OBJECT wholeheartedly to the Sunnica Energy Farm for the following reason: 1. The UK needs to be growing much more of its food than it is at the moment. Sunnica's plans will use all Greenfield. This area is renowned for its vegetable growing due to the land being good quality irrigated farmland and this is what it should be used for. More than ever the UK need to be producing more of its food and we don't not want to lose this land. 2. The areas chosen surround attractive unspoilt villages and this is going to ruin them. They have thriving communities which will be decimated as people will leave. Properties in the area will dive in value and will be practically unsaleable. 3. If the Battery Energy Storage Compounds (BESS) catch fire they cannot be put out and produces poisonous gasses. This is known to have happened. They sound far from being safe and would be a worry. The fact that there will be 77 acres of BESS all built close to family homes is very unsatisfactory. 4. The Horseracing Industry in Newmarket is known as The Horseracing Capital of The World. Our gallops, especially the Limekilns are the best in the world and to have a Solar Energy Farm so close to them is going to be very detrimental. People from all over the world have horses trained in Newmarket because of the gallops but also because they are in awe of the beauty surrounding the training grounds. To have them blighted by acres of solar panels will be devastating to the industry and to employment locally. 5. If these 1,000,000+ solar panels are coming from China this in itself is going to cause a Huge Carbon Footprint which rather negates the scheme. What is going to happen to these Solar Panels when they come to the end of their life. I believe at the moment they have not found a way to recycle them. What is going to happen to the batteries? 6. I do not believe Sunnica have the experience to build a Solar Energy Farm of this size and think the future for all of us living in the vicinity have cause to be worried. 7. Last but certainly not least the loss of habitat for the wildlife. I would like to add that I am not against Solar Energy but the Farms should be built away from villages and built up areas where they are not going to be intrusive, offend and upset local communities. This should apply countrywide. Jacko Fanshawe"
Members of the Public/Businesses
James Hall
"As a locally born individual who has lived or worked around this area for most of my life, I am very concerned about the prospect of such an enormous, sprawling, ill planned development on an area of 2,500 acres of greenfield land. > This project would result in lost countryside in a farming community, turning it into brownfield status for generations to come. The importance of agriculture to this community and food self sufficiency must be taken into account. > It will not result in a net improvement in the local employment situation, with solar panels being imported from overseas and the installation from a non-local business. > It will impact on a large number of local villages and residents, with the power generated having to be sent through miles of cabling to reach a substation. This will be a negative impact to local communities during the construction phase and is likely to have a negative impact on property values for those close by."
Members of the Public/Businesses
Jo Clegg
"I am writing to object to the proposed Sunnica development close to my village for the following reasons:- • As a resident of Isleham village for more than 20 years and bringing up my children in this beautiful rural area I do not wish to have the whole area ruined by unsightly solar panels. • I strongly support renewable energy but consider the Sunnica proposal totally misguided. • Sunnica propose to cover 2500 acres of good agricultural land – land which is even more important now with the war between Russia and Ukraine. We need to be growing our own crops and have grazing land for our animals. • Sunnica argue that the proposed panels will be set back in the fields and hedging planted to hide them. But the countryside will be defaced for at least the next 10/15 years whilst hedging grows. • A continuous stream of heavy vehicles manoeuvring our narrow roads will cause hold ups and damage to our already struggling road surfaces for many years to come. As local taxpayers we will be the ones to foot the cost of repair for these roads unless included in the proposal there are significant funds set aside by Sunnica to repair the road network during and on completion of the project. • Nearby are both Mildenhall and Lakenheath RAF/USAF air bases – has the impact of these panels been discussed with them – especially with all the reflection from the solar panels which could cause a huge impact on aircraft. • It has been pointed out that the battery energy storage system has not been built on such a scale up till now – no-one knows the outcome if such a system were to catch fire – suggestions are that explosions could occur and toxic gases released. • And all the issues relating to the end of life of the panels in 30/40 years time – what guarantees will the community have that the cost involved in dealing with this will be footed by the owners of the site and not left to the local community. • To my mind this proposal is simply a way to increase the profits of a large company with no regard to the effects it will inflict on the local community. • Consultation with the local community has been sadly lacking up till now, accepted we recently had a face to face meeting but to me this was much too little and much too late."