Huge solar farm capable of powering thousands of homes a year is approved

A huge solar farm capable of powering thousands of homes a year has been given the go-ahead by councillors.

By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 11th July 2022, 2:32 pm

Bassetlaw District Council decided to approve the plans for land near Bumble Bee Farm, in Saundby, during a planning committee meeting on Wednesday (July 6).

The development would generate up to 49.9 megawatts of electricity and would operate for 40 years before it was returned to agricultural use.

Firm Enso Energy said the development will provide electricity for the National Grid that can power in excess of 12,000 homes and save more than 11,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum.

Bassetlaw District Council has approved plans for a huge solar farm on land near the Bumble Bee Farm site, in Saundby.

The solar farm will now be built on the 150-hectare, rural site near Retford.

But the documents state only a “small portion” of this land will actually be developed for use as a solar farm, with a battery storage facility also planned on the site.

There was one objection to the plans from Bassetlaw District Council’s Conservation Team relating to the nearby Saundby Conservation Area.

They said that whilst they “acknowledge the benefits of renewable energy”, it was not “sufficient to outweigh the harm due to the lack of a justification for a development in this area or at this scale”.

Five neighbours who were consulted on the plans included some who offered support for a renewable energy supply, and other made comments that the site was “in keeping with the location”.

Three neighbours objected, however, over the ‘glint and glare’ of the site, impacts on visual amenity and fire risk from storing the battery.

Council documents stated: “The proposal will only have moderate impacts on the landscape character which will reduce substantially over the medium to long term as the proposed planting matures and gradually screens more of the application site.

“There are also clear public benefits to the proposal including the provision of renewable energy and substantial biodiversity enhancement exceeding 80 per cent in habitat units and 20 per cent in other net gains.”

Construction of the solar farm would take seven months, documents show.

Councillors voted in favour of the application with seven votes for and one against.

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