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Solar farm plans at Gonerby Moor resubmitted after original application was refused over fears that farm land would be lost

Plans for a solar farm have been resubmitted after being refused due to concerns that farm land would be lost.

Lightsource BP has revised its application to build a solar farm on land off Green Lane in Gonerby Moor, after it was refused by South Kesteven District Council earlier this year.

The original plans sought to develop a 30MW solar farm on the 58-hectare site over a temporary 40-year period, but these were refused on July 27 by SKDC’s planning committee, despite being recommended for approval by officers.

A stock image of a solar farm
A stock image of a solar farm

Councillors cited concerns over the loss of agricultural land, the visual and cumulative impact of the development, and the need to protect public rights of way.

Since the decision, the applicant has revised the previously submitted plans, reducing the capacity of the solar farm to 23MW.

Other amendments from the original development include the removal of panels and equipment from the ‘best and most versatile land’ for agriculture, which will remain undeveloped and will be seeded with a wildflower meadow mix.

Panels will also be set back by a further 10 metres from the existing public right of way on the site, with an increase of planting along the public right of way route.

The north-western and south-eastern fields have been removed from the plans as well.

This proposal would also make use of a connection to the grid which is part of a previously approved nearby site in Gonerby Moor, also from Lightsource BP.

The applicant said that the solar farm would result in a reduction in carbon emissions of approximately 4,665 metric tonnes per year, and could power around 14,000 electric vehicles annually.

It is estimated that around 60 jobs will be created during the construction period, with four direct and indirect jobs supported by the solar farm once it is operational.

The applicant added: “The impacts of the proposal have been shown to be acceptable and, where harm has been identified, it has been demonstrated this is particularly limited and falls some way below a threshold which would warrant the withholding of planning permission.”

Elsewhere, a consultation was held over a proposal to build Ash Tree Solar Farm on land west of High Dyke Road and north of Londonthorpe.

The project would have a capacity of approximately 49.9MW, which is enough energy to meet the average annual electricity demands of around 16,000 homes, according to Low Carbon.

Also, the development of a 46MW solar farm on land around 1.5km north of Welby, is currently awaiting SKDC’s opinion over a possible environmental impact assessment, ahead of submitting a formal application.

To see more planning applications and other public notices for your area, visit publicnoticeportal.uk

What are your thoughts on these recent solar farm plans? Email comment@granthamjournal.co.uk

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