April 27, 2023 11.00 am This story is over 14 months old

Government to consider controversial West Burton solar project

Enough clean energy to power 144,000 homes

Controversial plans for a major solar farm on the Lincolnshire Nottinghamshire border have been accepted by the Government.

Island Green Power’s West Burton Solar Project would be built in conjunction with a similar project at Cottom Power Station.

However, the plans are one of several to have come under fire from local councillors who say they will mean sacrificing valuable agricultural land.

Bosses said the West Burton project alone would generate enough clean energy to power 144,000 homes but with Cottam could generate enough for 324,000 homes.

They said the acceptance for examination by the Planning Inspectorate,  the body responsible for dealing with national infrastructure planning applications in England, was a “significant milestone”.

A spokesperson said:  “It is great to see that the Planning Inspectorate has accepted the West Burton Solar  Project for examination.

“This follows on from the acceptance of the Cottam Solar  Project earlier in the year.

“Both projects are nationally significant on their own merits,  and collectively could make a really significant contribution to the UK’s journey to net  zero and energy security.”

A map showing the West Burton solar farm. | Image: Island Green Power

Members of the public are invited to view the application documents and submit a representations to

Members of the public have until 08 June 2023 to register as an Interested Party and  submit their Relevant Representation to PINS.

Solar farms have earned the ire of many county councillors, particularly in the West Lindsey area.

In the area around Gate Burton there are more than 10,000 acres of solar farms planned.

Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh has previously said there needs to be more focus on tackling a “crisis in food production” and called for brownfield sites to be considered.

In September, he said: “With the war in Ukraine, and wheat prices going through the roof, it is madness to take this amount of good agricultural land out of production.

“Do we want 10,000 acres of good agricultural land in the breadbasket of England taken out of agricultural use?”

Lincolnshire County Councillor Richard Butroid, Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh and Burton Gate Hall’s Henry Morris all believe the amount of panels to be excessive. | Image: Daniel Jaines

Meanwhile County Councillor Richard Butroid said the visual impact of the surrounding areas was “absolutely stunning” and feared the impact on public rights of way through the countryside.

Councillor Colin Davie recently said Lincolnshie was “under attack” by solar farm applications.

He told a recent council meeting that there needed to be a bigger push for new homes to include solar panels and other green energy solutions.

Pointing to some of the large-scale solar farms in the pipeline around the county, he said: “I would probably say we’re under attack by applications, and there are even more coming down the track.

“We are inundated with applications for large solar farms and other energy projects. Lincolnshire will play its role in terms of the national picture but we’re not to be a dumping ground for the south of England energy production where there are plenty of poor quality land options which could be utilised.”

The plans can be found by visiting: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/east-midlands/west burton-solar-project/.