Size of proposed 100+ football field solar farm near Roman settlement


A solar farm the size of around 108 football pitches is proposed to go next to an area believed to have been settled by the Romans.

The land, which consists of 78 hectares of fields near Swaffham, has been set aside for development by Low Carbon UK Solar Investment Company Ltd.

Breckland Council officers have met with organizations to discuss the need for a solar farm impact assessment before a planning application is submitted.

Read more: The size of a 49 football field solar farm receives the green light despite objections

The scheme echoes a plot in the BBC East Anglia comedy series ‘Detectorists’ where developers gain permission to build a solar farm on fields where ancient artefacts are thought to be buried.

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A significant number of Roman coins have been found on land adjacent to the site

A Norfolk County Council Historic Environment Officer warned: “The proposed development site is located next to a likely Roman settlement area, identified by artefacts including a significant number of coins Romans.

“Additionally, artefacts from all periods have been found in the proposed development area, with significant concentrations of Roman and Anglo-Saxon material.”

He also said there was “high potential” for buried archaeological remains at the site and recommended that an environmental impact study be carried out.

Breckland planning officers have concluded that an EIA is not necessary, but are not ruling out the possibility of surveying the land before providing any future planning permission.

The developer’s agent wrote in a letter to Breckland Council that any planning applications for the solar farm would be considered both built heritage and archaeology.

They also said the solar farm would provide a renewable energy supply to reduce carbon emissions and help support the local community and economy.

An application for the development has not yet been submitted to council, but a presentation of the plans is due to take place at the town hall at 8 p.m. on Tuesday February 1.

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