Nearly 300 solar panels will be installed in a Norfolk quarry so more than a fifth of the power needed at the site can come from the sun.

McLeod Aggregates Limited has been given the go-ahead by planners at Norfolk County Council to place 288 panels at Bittering Quarry, near Dereham.

Documents lodged with County Hall, in support of the application, stated: "Clearly there is an urgent need to address the climate crisis and replacing a significant proportion of the fossil fuels currently being consumed at Bittering Quarry with renewable energy will assist in this aim.

"In addition, all renewable energy generated which is not able to be utilised at the quarry will be fed into the grid and therefore still contribute to reducing reliance on fossil fuels more generally."

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Beeston with Bittering Parish Council had supported the plans, but there were two objections lodged.

The applicant had initially applied to extend the time period of the use of the quarry - due to end in 2030 - by 11 years, but that element of the proposal was dropped.

Officers at County Hall used delegated powers to grant permission for the panels.

The solar panels will be removed on or before December 31, 2031, which will allow 12 months before the site is restored by December 31, 2032.

In granting permission, officers at the council said "significant weight" had been given to the sustainability benefits of the project.

They said the panels would allow 21.3pc of the electricity demand for the quarry site to come from solar energy, with 30.5pc of the power generated sold back to the national grid.

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Officers said: "It has been demonstrated that there will be no impact on the visual landscape over its temporary lifetime.

"Subject to the implementation of appropriate conditions, it is considered that the proposal would not create any adverse impacts and as such is in accordance with the development plan policies identified and national policy.

"There are no material considerations that indicate that the application should
be refused."