Image courtesy of Daily Mail
Welcome to the Say No to Sunnica Community Action Group Ltd Campaign Website
Sunnica Ltd has submitted its proposal for a massive 2,500 acre solar farm situated across the borders of West Suffolk and East Cambridgeshire.
If approved this would be the largest solar farm in the UK, if not Northern Europe and will have a significant impact on the local environment, both during construction and operation of the scheme.
The scheme would stretch around 15 miles from start to finish, affecting 16 parishes and towns, segmenting communities along it's path.
The Say No to Sunnica campaign is not against solar power or other renewables, but we consider the proposed Sunnica Solar Farm to be a bad renewable energy scheme. To find out more please have a look at the following pages on our site...
The Sunnica proposal, which provides an overview of the scheme and provides links to more information if you would like to read up on the scheme in more detail.
The Campaign which describes the work of the Say No to Sunnica Campaign and the reasons why we consider this to be a "bad" scheme.
The page on press articles presents a number of indepedent articles that highlight the growing awareness of the negative impacts of large scale ground-mounted solar farms like that proposed by Sunnica.
If you would like to get involved or support our campaign, please see the page on getting involved.
SNTS Written Representation
Thank you for all your support in getting your individual Written Representations to the Examiners by last Friday (Deadline 2), and for all your comments and feedback over the last few years which we have fed as best we can into the Written Representation by the Say No to Sunnica community action group.
Both the Summary of our Written Representation, (called Deadline 2 - Summary of Written Representation), and the full version are now live on the inspectorate website:
Sunnica Energy Farm | National Infrastructure Planning (planninginspectorate.gov.uk)
Our Summary document is also available here:
We've been very lucky to have a number of expert reports supporting this, which can also be viewed on the link above (on landscape, ecology, agriculture, carbon to name but a few).
We are hopeful that between all of our representations, the Examiners (ExA) will have a clear picture of how much this Sunnica scheme impacts us.
Open Floor Hearings
We now need your help one more time....
Please attend one of the Open Floor Hearings (OFH) that have been scheduled for the Evening of Tuesday 6th Dec at 7pm in the Memorial Hall in Newmarket (doors open from 6 pm) OR on Friday 9th December at 10am in the Memorial Hall in Newmarket (doors open from 9 am). You can attend both if you wish.
These are the only opportunities you will have to actually voice your concerns directly to the Examiners, face to face. It is so important that they see how much we value living here.
Please do come along.
If you can't attend in person, you can attend virtually. Registration is preferred in order to provide an estimate of numbers. This can be done by completing the following form: Event Participation Form (office.com) before 23:59 on Tuesday 22nd Nov.
If you have a specific area of interest or expertise, please also come along to speak at one of the Issue Specific Hearings. There is one on Weds 7th Dec on: Ecology, Landscape and Heritage (ISH2).
And another one on Thurs 8th Dec covering: Batteries, Agriculture, Horse Racing, Employment, PRoW, Water and flooding and Cumulative impacts (ISH3).
These are both going to be held in the Memorial Hall Newmarket, starting at 10 am on each day.
Any questions, please ask.
Thanks, SNTS team
The 2500-acre (over 1400 football pitches) Sunnica scheme would be the biggest solar and battery plant in the UK, if not Europe. It would comprise over 1 million solar panels (2.5m high) with 3 large lithium-ion battery energy storage compounds, known as BESS and 3 large substations located near to Isleham/West Row (East Site A), Chippenham/Snailwell (West Site A) and Red Lodge/Freckenham (East Site B). These are significant, industrial structures.
The perimeter of the solar fields will be fenced off (2.5m high fencing) and the panel arrays in the fields will be interspersed with 3.5m high solar stations (housing transformers etc). As well as CCTV on poles (ca. 5m high) and weather stations (ca. 6m high).
The Sunnica scheme would stretch for around 15 miles from one end (near Isleham/ West Row) to the other end (at Burwell) and would affect 16 parishes and towns along its path.
It is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) like HS2, Sizewell C, etc. and will supply energy into the National Grid.
The Examiners are not local to this area. They need your input to help them understand what this area means to you and how you would be affected by the Sunnica scheme if it went ahead. They want to hear about things such as:
The visual impact of the scheme (the solar panels, security fencing, BESS compounds, substations etc). How does this affect you/ your enjoyment of the area? Your lifestyle?
What do you value about the area – how you use the area, what does it mean to you, your friends, your family
Loss of high yielding, irrigated farmland (the scheme is entirely on greenfield land)
Any concerns about wildlife impacts, potential loss of species etc or impacts on heritage assets, local history?
Are you affected by the compulsory acquisition required by the applicant? If so, please be sure to get involved in the Compulsory Acquisition Hearings that will take place. Register by 19th October 2022
Do you have any objections to the lithium-ion BESS storage compounds? If approved, the Li-BESS would be amongst the biggest in the world. There have been many serious fire incidents at Grid scale lithium-ion BESS compounds over the past few years
Have you considered the traffic and access impacts or any potential noise impacts?
Assessments of alternatives/ choice of location – are there other sites that have not been considered? Do you have a view on hosting the Sunnica scheme in this area alongside the 20 or so solar farms already in operation/under construction here (plus others in the pipeline)?
Given that this scheme is unlikely to be carbon neutral over its lifetime, how do you feel about the contribution it would make to our net zero targets
Or any other points you feel you wish to make – this is your last opportunity to make them
We really appreciate your help with this. Thank You
Please see the page here which describes the planning process in more detail.