New solar park approved in Branston

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Councillors have given the go-ahead for developers to build a solar park in Branston.

The development will sit on 97 hectares of farmland south of the village between Mere Road and Sleaford Road close to the Branston (Potatoes) Ltd factory.

North Kesteven District Council’s planning committee approved the plans at a meeting in Sleaford on Tuesday, February 20.

The development was put forward by Branston Solar Park Extension Ltd, a consortium of local farmers who have promised to help contribute to the UK’s renewable energy and climate change targets.

The 97ha solar farm should create 49.9MW of energy, which would provide power to 15,000 homes.

It will be operational for around 35 years before it’s decommissioned and the equipment removed from the site.

Branston and Mere Parish Council raised some concerns about the scale of the development, arguing it was not proportionate to the size of the village.

Councillor Peter Lundgren, ward member for Branston, said: “There are benefits in terms of renewable energy and biodiversity.

“Parts of the site will be visible from the B1188. The applicant has mitigation measures. How effective they will be I’m not altogether sure.”