A Norfolk solar farm that at 49.9MW would be one of the UK’s largest has been given the go ahead.

Planners at the two district councils of North Norfolk and Broadland gave the project the final green light last week, following several months of scrutiny.

The plant would be built on the site of the former RAF Coltishall airfield, now an economic development area known as Scottow Enterprise Park owned by Norfolk County Council.

It will be built in two separate phases, with the first phase expected to reach completion by the end of March next year. That would allow it to qualify for the renewable obligation certificate before that support mechanism switches to contracts for difference for larger solar farms.

The county council said the two phases of the project had the potential to generate £10 million for the authority over its 25-year lifetime.

Leader of Norfolk County Council George Nobbs said: “The decision by both councils is a Christmas present for the Norfolk taxpayer and good news for the environment as well.

“There have been those who’ve doubted that we would be able to pull off this deal, but I’m glad to say they’ve been proved wrong. RAF Coltishall, or Scottow Enterprise Park as it will be known, is beginning to repay the vision and faith that we have shown in it. Today’s decision is further evidence that this will turn out to be a sound investment.”

Leader of North Norfolk District Council and portfolio holder for economic development, Tom FitzPatrick, said: “We welcome the decision to give the go-ahead to build one of Britain’s largest solar farms at the Scottow Enterprise Park. It’s an extremely positive step forward and we look forward to it being a catalyst for further investment and development at the site and the creation of more jobs in the area for the benefit of the local community.”

Leader of Broadland District Council Andrew Proctor added: “This development reflects two of our key ambitions of delivering economic success and environmental excellence. So we are delighted that the planning committees of both councils agreed to approve the development.”

The project is being developed by Scottow Moor Solar in partnership with Norwich-based renewable energy company, Red Triangle Energy.