Planners back Long Sutton solar park

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LONG Sutton is to have “another feather in its cap” after plans for a solar park were given the go-ahead by councillors.

Rows of photovoltaic panels will be installed at Long Sutton Butterfly and Wildlife Park to convert energy from the sun in the town’s latest eco project.

Members of South Holland District Council’s development control committee approved the plans when they met on Wednesday.

“Once again, I am pleased to say Long Sutton is leading the rest of South Holland,” said Coun Dennis Tennant.

“It’s another feather in the cap of the fens. The applicant has done all he can. He has had public meetings, he has taken away the visitor centre, which I could like to have seen.”

He added: “I think the rest of South Holland wants to get its finger out and do something similar.”

The 4.10 hectare site will include the photovoltaic arrays, a car park, inverter building, landscaping and access.

Each photovoltaic panel will be mounted on a frame and stand less than three metres tall. It is intended that sheep will be able to graze underneath.

At its peak, the site will generate about 1.69 megawatts of electricity.

The plans originally included a visitor centre, but this was withdrawn by applicant Moor Solar Ltd.

Coun David Wilkinson said all had been done to “minimise the impact” of the proposed solar park.

Coun Christine Lawton described the scheme as “interesting” and said it “deserved support”. The scheme is the latest in a line of eco projects for the town.

The architect behind the work, Dr Jerry Harrell, of SEArch Architects, was the mastermind of the six-bungalow development at Long Sutton’s Unity Gardens.

His firm has also been granted planning permission for an eco development consisting of 49 homes, commercial units and an office adjacent to Unity Gardens on Bridge Road.