Plans for huge solar farm submitted to council

Solar panelsImage source, PA Media
Image caption,

The solar farm would be more than seven times the size of Fosse Park if given final approval

  • Published

A solar farm more than seven times the size of Fosse Park could soon be in the works for fields on the border between Leicestershire and Rutland.

The 270-acres (109-hectares) site could be built on Stygate Farm between Pickwell, Somerby and Whissendine.

Details of the plans have been submitted to Melton Borough Council on behalf of RWE Renewables in a preliminary planning application.

The site was currently used for agricultural purposes, the application said.

The company submitted a request to the council to see if extra environmental checks were needed before a final planning application was submitted.

Papers show the solar farm would be split across two sites with the largest being almost 198 acres (80 hectares) and the smaller being almost 73 acres (29 hectares), the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The land was mainly in the borough of Melton but as some parts extended into Rutland, planning applications would be submitted to both Melton Borough Council and Rutland County Council.

A report to the planning officer by a consultancy firm on behalf of the applicant, claimed the site was not protected under any landscape designations but did contain mature native trees, hedgerows, a pond and a tributary of the Whissendine Brook.

Papers also showed a landscape report concluded the project would "alter the character of the landscape and scenic quality from dwellings and users of Stygate Lane".

However it added widespread effects on the landscape would be limited by the "surrounding landform and intervening vegetation".

It suggested planting more trees to "further soften views from neighbouring residences".

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