Solar farm near Dunmow could power 1,600 homes

10:05 04 September 2014

A solar farm has been proposed which would include a wildlife haven.

A solar farm has been proposed which would include a wildlife haven.

Archant

More than 1,600 homes could be powered by renewable energy generated at a proposed solar farm near Great Dunmow – while the site would also become a “haven for wildlife”.

Plans for the development, on Tooleys Farm, off Brookend Road, near Stebbing, were unveiled to residents at an exhibition at Foakes Hall, on Stortford Road, last week.

If given the go-ahead, the solar panels would be no higher than 2.2metres and would be hidden from surrounding roads, residences and footpaths.

Lightsoure Renewable Energy, the company behind the proposal, claim it would save 2,870 tonnes of carbon emissions each year – the equivalent of the annual emissions generated by 638 family cars.

They are also working on a tailored biodiversity plan for the site to make it attractive to wildlife, including sheep and bees.

Conor McGuigan, planning and development director at Lightsource, said: “The community information evening is the first step in our community consultation process and gives us a chance to speak directly to local residents.

“Overall, the response from the community at the event was positive and we will use the feedback we received to refine the plans before they are submitted to Uttlesford District Council.

“It was pleasing to see that the wider benefits of solar energy were recognised by the local community. As well as generating clean energy, solar farms provide an ideal environment for habitat enhancements and our schemes are designed to promote local biodiversity as best we can.

“The site will also become home to a flock of sheep, ensuring that the site continues to have an agricultural use.”

Solar farms are only temporary and at the end of the lease period, which is between 25-30 years, the land is cleared and left unharmed.

It would take around two months to get the solar farm up and running, with up to six deliveries a day going to the site.

Uttlesford District Councillor Keith Mackman said: “I do think solar farms work. The land can also be used for other things at the same time and once it is at the end of its lease it can be taken away and the land can be used again.”

What do you think? Would a solar farm on Tooleys Farm be a good idea? E-mail us at editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk or call 01799 513000.

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