Concerns over solar farm plans next to old power stations

Senior councillors fear loss of farming land

Plans for two new solar farms which cross the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire border have caused concerns for senior councillors.

Island Green Power announced plans for the large scale farms at Cottam and West Burton which they said will provide over 1,000MW of energy and power 324,000 homes.

The new builds will replace decommissioned power stations on each of their respective locations, one of which closed last year and the other which will is due to close in 2022.

However, Lincolnshire County Council has fears over the loss of agricultural land and called for the plans to be “appropriate both in terms of disruption to residents, visual impact and protecting our other economic activity.”

Executive councillor for environment and strategic planning Councillor Colin Davie said: “Lincolnshire plays a key role in feeding the nation and for future food security, so we would certainly not want to see agricultural land of any grade used in this way.

“The new carbon tax on supermarket imports will make UK-grown foods even more essential.

“As there is considerable public concern over meeting energy supply requirements this winter, it is vital that we have a secure and reliable mix of energy generation sources in this country.

“Renewable technology can play a part in that, and solar generation is a more environmentally sound option than importing and burning other fuels such as coal, but it is still an intermittent generator of power.”

A map showing the locations of the planned solar farms. | Image: Island Green Power

Once the developer has received feedback on the proposals, two applications will be submitted in late 2022 with a decision by the Secretary of State expected in 2023.

Island Green Power was established in 2013 and has delivered 14 solar projects across the UK and Republic of Ireland to date.

Dave Elvin, from the company, said: “We are really excited to share our emerging proposals for these projects.

“The projects will also be contributing towards energy resilience and reducing our reliance on increasingly expensive electricity and gas imports from Europe.”

He said extensive searches had taken place and a “wide range” of factors had been considered.

“We believe the use of several separate land parcels reduces the impact on the local area in comparison to fewer larger sites.”

“We recognise the need to deliver these projects sensitively. We want to talk with local communities to understand their views and listen to their ideas,” he added.

More information is available on websites for each respective site at www.cottamsolar.co.ukand www.westburtonsolar.co.uk

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