Homeowners and farmers are being threatened with having their land effectively confiscated to make way for solar farms to meet Britain’s net zero target, The Telegraph can disclose.
Energy firm Sunnica has submitted plans to build a 2,792 acre solar farm and energy storage infrastructure on the Suffolk and Cambridgeshire borders.
If the Planning Inspectorate recommends to ministers that the plans should be given the go-ahead later this year, it will be the largest solar farm built in the UK so far, providing power for 100,000 homes.
But MPs and residents living in many of the small villages in the area have decried proposals by Sunnica to use compulsory purchase orders for land on which it needs access and where it cannot reach a negotiated settlement with owners.
This would include significant sections of land under which to lay electricity cables connecting the solar panels and battery storage units to the Burwell National Grid Substation in Cambridgeshire.
It could also see the compulsory purchase of land to create wider roads and access points to allow construction of the huge project, which is equivalent to the size of 2,115 football pitches.
The company stated that it “requires powers of compulsory acquisition to ensure that the scheme can be built, maintained and operated, and so that the Government’s policies in relation to the timely delivery of new generating capacity and achieving ambitious net zero targets are met.”