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Solar farm proposed for Lincoln edge

A large solar farm has been proposed on the edge of Lincoln, between the Burton and South Carlton villages.

The proposal was submitted to West Lindsey District Council in December by AEE Renewables.

The solar panel array would create 36MW of power for the national grid to use via underground cable, lasting around 25 years.

The panels would be situated four sites of land off the B1398 around Burton by Lincoln village and the A15.

While in operation, the landscaped site, presently agricultural, would be grazed by sheep.

The panels would be raised 2.8 metres off the ground by aluminium frames and poles, so after 25 years the site can return to agricultural use with minimal damage to the land.

A sub station for the cabling would be built on part of the land, and the farm would be virtually silent for those living or passing nearby.

The plots of land near Lincoln to be used for the solar farm.
The plots of land near Lincoln to be used for the solar farm.

AEE Renewables believe the proposals would have a positive impact on the local economy through job creation and industrial demand.

The proposals are going through a preliminary screening process before moving to the next stage of planning, which would also include an ecology report.

Residents concerned over plans

However, residents in the area are concerned that if approved, the solar farm would contravene the national directive for using brownfield or low grade agricultural land, due to the farm proposal being situated in grade two and three listed areas, containing historical artefacts.

The Burton and South Carlton villages are classed as Conservation Areas.

Residents are also requesting to be consulted about the plans in the near future, before they go through the planning process.

Additionally, over the course of the building and decommissioning works, it is thought around 600 lorry loads of materials will travel around the site, averaging five per day.

South Carlton resident Wendy Davis is dismayed at the proposals for the area.

She said: “I cannot believe that grade two and three agricultural land is earmarked to be out of use for a quarter of a century which is in direct contravention of national guidance, which is that brownland and low-grade land be used for developments such as this.

“This land is most definitely neither. My family has farmed land in this area for decades and we are absolutely appalled that this could happen.

“Surely with all the flooding that now seems to happen all too frequently these days in this country, we should be utilising good grade land to produce crops even more. 25 years is a very long time.”

Solar-powered Lincoln

The first Lincoln solar farm at Danes Farm in Stow is maintained by Freewatt and grazed by sheep. It generates over 3MW of power.
The first Lincoln solar farm at Danes Farm in Stow is maintained by Freewatt and grazed by sheep. It generates over 3MW of power.

There is already a solar farm around Lincoln, with a second one proposed in the south of the city.

Stow-based Freewatt added 8,300 extra solar panels to its solar farm near Lincoln, trebling the size of Danes Farm to 15 acres of land and adding a further 2MW of output to the existing 1.14 MW.

Inazin Power also proposed last year a solar farm in village of Branston, south of Lincoln.

According to the company, the farm would be around 160 acres and supply 35-40MW, which would provide electricity for 6,000-8,000 houses.

Last October, West Lindsey District Council councillor unanimously rejected a proposal to build a wind farm near Hemswell Cliff, north of Lincoln.