King Of Wishful Thinking Go West
29 July 2014, 07:36
A new solar farm could be built near Blandford in Dorset.
Lightsource Renewable Energy is hosting a community information event to display plans for a new solar farm at Littleton. If approved, the proposed solar farm would provide enough clean, locally-sourced energy to power 3,200 homes.
Designs for the proposed site are still in the early stages and Lightsource is keen to discuss the plans with residents to ensure that they are the best fit for the local community. The initial proposals are set to be displayed to the public this evening at Hall & Woodhouse Ltd, The Brewery, Blandford St. Mary, from 5.30pm until 8pm.
Lightsource is collaborating with the landowner on the Littleton solar farm project to ensure that the solar farm design accommodates continued agricultural use of the land. The wide field margins and large spaces between the rows of solar panels mean that the majority of the allocated land would remain open and uncovered - making it ideal for the grazing of a flock of sheep.
The Lightsource planning team works closely with ecologists to identify the most appropriate biodiversity enhancements to include on-site. Once installed, a solar farm requires no flood-lighting and there are no moving parts so there is no risk of disturbance to local wildlife. Measures, such as wildflower seeding, log piles, as well as bird, bat and barn owl boxes can help native species thrive.
A bridleway which runs to along the southern boundary will remain undisturbed and views are well-screened by existing vegetation. Lightsource will also ensure that any gaps in hedgerows and shrubs along the site borders are planted with new native species wherever needed to further screen potential views into the site and to bolster existing wildlife "corridors".
Conor McGuigan, Planning and Development Director at Lightsource, said:
"Solar farms are a remarkably passive and flexible technology, which presents a number of opportunities for diversification. As well as being a source of clean electricity, the Littleton solar farm site would also accommodate the grazing of sheep and could also provide a real boost to local biodiversity.
"The site will remain in operation for at least 25 years, so we want to work with the local community who will be our neighbours. We want residents to get involved as these proposals take shape so that the project can evolve with the guidance of local knowledge and ideas."
"It is still early days for the proposals, which is why we are keen for local businesses, residents and wildlife enthusiasts to help shape these plans. We would also encourage anyone who can't attend the community event to visit our website where the plans can be viewed and suggestions for the proposals can be put forward."
Residents wishing to view the initial proposal in more detail or make suggestions to the Lightsource Planning team can visit the Planning Portal at: www.lightsource-re.co.uk - click 'In-House Planning' and type the site name "Littleton" into the search box. An online feedback form is also available on the page.