19-acre Telford solar farm set to get green light

A solar farm the size of more than 300 tennis courts has moved one step closer to being built.

19-acre Telford solar farm set to get green light

Council officers have recommended that plans to build the 19-acre solar farm on Cheshire Coppice Farm, in Bratton, Telford should be approved at a meeting next week.

If built, thousands of panels would be installed on the land north of Rushmore Lane, which on average would be able to power 1,500 UK homes per year.

This comes after plans were submitted to the council last month to build a 23-acre solar farm south west of Muxton Grange Cottages, just off Donnington Wood roundabout, in Muxton.

In the planning report, council officer Steven Drury, said the farm would be in place for 25 years.

He said: "The development will include approximately 816 arrays, with each containing 24 solar PV panels set, which will run horizontally across the site.

"Each array will rise to a maximum height of two metres above ground level.

"The proposal is a reversible form of development, which could be removed at the end of its 20 to 25 year life span.

"The land could then be returned to an agricultural use, although planting will take place to encourage a wild meadow growth between and the panels.

"Seasonal grazing sheep will continue to use the site, which is retaining and agricultural use."

The application as received a lot of support from local organisations, however, Councillor Jacqui Seymour said despite supporting solar energy the use of agricultural land for the farm is inappropriate.

The borough council already has its own solar farm in Wheat Leasows, near Hadley - when it is fully up and running the farm will produce enough electricity to power 1,000 homes.

Telford & Wrekin Council is believed to be one of the first in the country to run such a development, which was put forward in a bid to bring in money to combat hard-hitting Government cuts and protect frontline services.

The authority is still looking at ways to bring in money to help reduce the impact of cuts to their grant from central government, which means they have to find £20 million in savings by 2016 on top of £50 million they have already cut since 2009.

The application will go to planning committee on Wednesday (OCT07) at The Whitehouse Hotel in Wellington at 6pm.

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