Sutton Bridge solar farm project is approved by South Holland District Council planners
Plans to build a solar farm project, which will be one of the largest in the country, have been given the go-ahead.
South Holland District Council’s planning committee voted unanimously in favour of plans submitted by EDF Renewables (EDF R) to build the solar farm on land neighbouring Sutton Bridge Power Station.
During the meeting, held virtually on Wednesday, councillors heard that the 49.9 MW solar farm will be the company’s largest solar farm project in the country and would be capable of generating enough renewable electricity for the domestic needs of 16,100 households annually if given approval, saving around 21,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
Councillors reacted positively to the application, particularly to a voluntary community benefit fund of up to £10,000 every year for the duration of the project.
Coun Andrew Woolf said: “If you were going to build a solar farm you’d probably want it near a power station and a wind farm so that it’s all together. I’m delighted to see the developer contribution and I’m sure it will be well spent in Sutton Bridge.
“I’m also really pleased to see Condition 3 which says that after 40 years this land potentially could go back to being agricultural land, so it’s not that it will be concreted over forever. It’s only temporary.”
Chairman Coun James Avery added: “Anything which helps us keep the lights on gets my vote.”
Speaking after the decision, EDF R’s head of solar Ben Fawcett said the company would work with residents to implement the fund.
He said: “We are very pleased to receive planning consent for this project which we believe is a great site for solar as it is suitably sunny and has a nearby grid connection. We want to work with the communities to keep them up to speed on the progress of the project. We also want to discuss with local people the implementation of the community fund.
“Sutton Bridge is at the forefront of several solar projects we have planned. Our renewables projects will enable us to contribute to the UK’s green economic recovery from COVID-19 and help the country accelerate to a net zero future .”