Wroxham & Coltishall

First view of new solar farm at former RAF Coltishall

Just Regional
Apr 17, 2015 3 mins read

It’s an impressive sight – the first ever public view of Norfolk’s newest solar farm and its 130,000 solar panels.
The 32 megawatts farm at the former RAF Coltishall is up and running after more than 200 workers, toiling seven days a week, built it in 10 weeks.

This makes it one the quickest-ever built large-scale solar farms in the UK and it can power 10,000 homes.
Named the Scottow Moor solar farm, it is the first phase of a bigger project being overseen by site owners Norfolk County Council.

Proposals for the second phase of the project, approximately 18 megawatts, are likely to be considered in the autumn. Once complete the solar farm will be one of the biggest in the UK.

The scheme should generate in excess of £10m over 25 years for council coffers once both phases are complete.

There are also other ongoing developments elsewhere on the former RAF site, which was bought by the county council from the Ministry of Justice in January 2013 and renamed Scottow Enterprise Park.

Today the county council hosted an event at the site formally opening the solar farm.

Council leader George Nobbs said the council’s vision was to create jobs, develop the site and respect the history of the base.
“This base is held in more affection than any other in East Anglia and we were determined to respect that fact.
“I think of all the things we could have put on this site, this is something which should cause the least objections. We have to take the people with us.

“The future looks good for the site and prospects are excellent to create a multiplicity of uses here – it’s springtime for Scottow Enterprise Park.

“Physically the solar farm is the biggest thing, but is only one part of our plans.”

Mr Nobbs said there was also housing development being planned for the site, one element of which could involve re-using the name of a former hamlet.

“There was once a group of houses called Batley Green here and we have an ambition to create a New Batley Green.”
There are also plans to safeguard heritage assets such as the blast walls and bring forward proposals to open up public access.
David Fyffe of the developers, Scottow Moor Solar Limited, said: “It’s been a monumental team effort from everyone involved.

“We would also like to thank the local community for their forbearance during the solar farm’s construction.”

Local campaigner and politician Steve Riley, who lives in neighbouring Badersfield, said he was pleased to see the farm opening, but felt it had only happened because of pressure from the community.

“I welcome the result – both the farm and the retention of the runway instead of the original plan of digging it up. But the reality is they have been dragged to the table by local people.

“What we need now is a proper access road through the old crash barrier to take the commercial traffic away from Badersfield’s roads.

“And we definitely don’t want to see the plan for 70-plus houses at the officers’ mess going ahead, it’s unwanted development and inconsistent with the other housing.”



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