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Proposals for two large solar farms in mid Norfolk

Thousands of solar panels could be built on mid Norfolk fields following planning applications for two large solar farms.

The plans for 60,480 separate panels just east of Hardingham and 47,040 panels west of Tittleshall have been submitted to Breckland Council by Hardingham 2 Solar Park and Claypit Moor Solar Park, respectively.

If given the go-ahead by councillors, the solar farms would cover an area of agricultural land covering just over 60 hectares combined.

So far there have been no objections to the proposals and a decision on both is due to be made by December 31.

If built, the proposed operational life for the solar farms will be 25 years, after which time they could be removed or they could continue to run, subject to future planning controls.

The Claypit Moor Solar Park, which would be 1.8km west of Tittleshall, could generate enough electricity to power up to 2,818 homes each year.

Security fencing, CCTV, a brick cabin where the electricity would enter the National Grid, aluminium cabins to convert the electricity current, and rows of the solar panels would be created. Native hedgerow would also be planted along the edge of the sites.

The Hardingham 2 Solar Park would be 500 metres from Hardingham village and the nearest homes would be to the south and within the hamlet of Danemoor Green to the north.

The design and access statements for both plans said: "The extent of the solar development in relation to its surroundings is also of prime importance, to ensure the scheme would not have a significant impact on views or on neighbouring properties.

"The proposed solar park is intended to have limited visual impact, as the existing and enhanced boundary planting will effectively hide the development from view. It will therefore have a minimal impact on the wider countryside and landscape in the area."