FEARS for protected newts have led to a solar company withdrawing plans for a solar farm near Bradfield.

Lightsource wants to put almost 16,000 solar panels on fields at Barn Farm, south of the B1352 Harwich Road.

But now the company have withdrawn their plans after Great Crested Newts were found within 2km of the site.

A spokesman for Lightsource said: “With regard to our Barn Farm application, despite providing extensive evidence that by adopting precautionary construction methods the development of a solar farm at this location would not present a risk to Great Crested Newts, the council has required the undertaking of Great Crested Newt surveys to establish whether any are present on the site.

“These surveys can only be undertaken between mid-March and mid-May, and therefore we have withdrawn the application until such time as these surveys can be completed.”