Plans approved for 125k panel solar farm in Branston

Proposals for a 125,818-panel solar farm in Branston have been approved, with the ability to generate power for around 3,600 homes.

The 15MW farm will span 37.4ha of agricultural land between Mere Road and Sleaford Road in Branston village near Lincoln.

Developer Inazin Power’s £15-£20 million Branston Solar Park Ltd plans were approved by North Kesteven District Council on October 14.

The farm will be within 700 metres of a recently approved 198 dwelling construction site.

The surrounding landscape also includes the Branston Potatoes and Branston Engineering site.

The solar farm will be located on land between Mere Road and Sleaford Road in Branston village. Image: Google maps

The solar farm will be located on land between Mere Road and Sleaford Road in Branston village. Image: Google maps

The site is within 700 metre of a planned housing development and close to Branston Potato Factory.

The site is within 700 metre of a planned housing development and close to Branston Potato Factory.

The solar panels will be a maximum of 2.3 metres in height. They will be set in rows facing south and the rows would have a separation distance of up to 7 metres.

The application also includes 13 inverter and transformer stations (2.8m in height), a District Network Operator building, a two metres high steel deer fence, parking, office and storage facilities.

Some 31 pole-mounted CCTV cameras will be installed around the perimeter of the site, as well as the planting of new hedgerows and the sowing of meadow grass and wildflower in-between the panels.

Construction is expected to take 12 to 16 weeks.

After 30 years, the site will be decommissioned and all equipment will be removed. The site will then revert to its current agricultural use.

Stuart Homewood, Development Manager at Inazin, said: “This location was perfect for the purpose being away from any residential dwellings and sited on two flat, well hidden, fields.

“The area, close to the Branston Potatoes site, is well suited to the access and departure of large construction vehicles, without disruption in the surrounding villages.

“This site will represent a bio-diverse safe haven in an area of monoculture, providing a much needed habitat for insects, small mammals, and birds. Local people should feel proud of this development.

“We would very much like to have constructed a larger scheme at this location, however at the present time there in insufficient capacity on the local grid network to accommodate a larger project.

“This scheme is across two landowners holdings, both of which are of sufficient scale that this will have no impact on their staffing requirements for other farming and commercial activities.

“Post build there will be work to do within the site in maintaining and enhancing the land between the panels and also in the long term security of the project, all of which would need local labour.”