Shropshire Star

Solar farm plan for near Telford to be submitted

Plans for a 100-acre solar farm between Telford and Newport will be submitted to the local authority next week, parish councillors have heard.

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Neil and Susanna Harley are proposing to build the south-facing panels on farmland at their Cheswell Grange Farm, and say the electricity generated could power nearly 6,000 average homes a year.

A pre-application public consultation on the scheme, known as “Twitch Hill Solar Farm”, was held during September and October.

Lilleshall Parish Council heard that some changes have been made to the design as a result of suggestions given.

Once the application is formally submitted, the parish council and residents living near the site will be consulted again ahead of Telford and Wrekin Council’s decision.

A website, created by Pegasus Group to support the autumn consultation, says: “The scheme is proposed on an area of existing agricultural land located to the west and southwest of Cheswell Grange”.

The site, west of the A518 Wellington Road, southwest of Newport, has been “carefully selected by Neil and Susanna as it forms one of the least suitable areas of agricultural land within their landholding, making it an ideal location to accommodate the solar farm whilst conserving the land of the highest arable quality”, it adds.

“The proposed development will comprise the installation of south-facing solar photovoltaic panels laid out east to west across the site, together with substation, transformer and battery containers, access and perimeter fencing,” the description continues.

“The land beneath the arrays will be seeded with flower-rich meadow and will continue to be grazed.”

Draft minutes of Lilleshall Parish Council’s December 7 meeting say a representative of the project attended to update members, and noted that some changes had been made to the design following public feedback.

These included relocating the battery storage area and adding additional hedge and tree planning “to reduce visibility of the site from properties in Kynnersley Drive”.

The minutes add: “The formal planning application will be submitted to Telford and Wrekin Council in the week commencing Monday, December 13.

"The chairman thanked Cheswell Grange for keeping open lines of communication on this matter with local people and the parish council, and encouraged this to continue.”

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