An appeal against a decision to refuse planning permission for a 15MW ground-mounted solar farm in Sudbury, Sussex has been thrown out by the Planning Inspectorate.

UK solar developer Sun and Soil had proposed to develop 26 hectares of the Rogers Farm site in Boxford in September 2013, however Babergh District Council rejected the application in February last year.

Planning inspector John Braithwaite dismissed the appeal following a site visit made last month, however speaking to Solar Power Portal this morning Sun and Soil director Andy Alan said the firm was now considering its options.

Alan added that the firm considered that the inspector had not considered some of the information it had submitted as part of its appeal, and refused to rule out taking the matter further.

In a six-page decision document published by the Planning Inspectorate yesterday, Braithwaite highlighted a number of issues that led to his decision, including the effect the development would have on the character of the landscape and on two nearby heritage assets.

The report found that the two nearby heritage sites – the Grade I listed Church of St Mary the Virgin in Edwardstone and Grade II listed Rogers Farmhouse – would be adversely affected by the installation and that its benefits did not warrant its construction.

“The introduction of an extensive modern industrial installation into the immediate surroundings of the farm buildings would adversely affect the setting of the farmhouse, which would not thus be preserved,” Braithwaite said.

Braithwaite also concluded that the development would result in the loss of valuable agricultural land and would be better placed elsewhere in the district, and that after considering the benefits of the proposed development Babergh District Council’s original decision was correct.

“In my judgement, the harm that would be caused by the proposed development significantly and demonstrably outweighs the environmental benefits of the solar power scheme,” Braithwaite concluded.