October 15, 2021 12.48 pm This story is over 25 months old

Plans for solar farm near Gainsborough “ringing alarm bells” for county council

It would power over 160,000 homes

Lincolnshire County Council has voiced concerns over proposals for a large solar farm on land near Gainsborough, saying it is “ringing alarm bells with councils and residents”.

Low Carbon Limited said this week it is at an early stage in developing proposals for Gate Burton Energy Park. The extent of the land available to deliver the project is contained within one site, near Gate Burton, Knaith Park and Willingham-by-Stow.

With an anticipated generation capacity of 500 megawatts, the scheme could provide enough clean energy to power more than 160,000 homes and avoid more than 100,000 tonnes of C02 emission every year. It is anticipated that the development process will take between two and three years, with work starting no earlier than 2024, subject to planning consent.

This comes after senior councillors previously raised concerns over plans for two new solar farms which cross the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire border.

Island Green Power announced plans last month for the large scale farms at Cottam and West Burton which they said will provide more than 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.

Councillor Colin Davie, executive member for environment and strategic planning at the county council, said: “The scale and rapidity of these proposals are ringing alarm bells with councils and residents. Renewable energy will play a part in the country’s energy generation strategy, but solar power generation on this scale is neither reliable, appropriate or desirable.

“Again, decisions about these proposals will be taken by the Secretary of State as to whether they are permitted, but we will be making it very clear that our county and its valuable agricultural land, shouldn’t be an easy target for unsuitable developments.”