Solar farm plans will produce enough power for thousands of homes

Councillors at Uttlesford District Council will consider the application.

Councillors at Uttlesford District Council will consider the application. - Credit: Archant

A solar farm which would power more than 13,000 homes a year could be developed on Thaxted farmland, under plans submitted to Uttlesford District Council (UDC).

Proposals lodged with UDC would see 125,856 panels installed across about 128 acres of land, at Terrier's Farm, less than a kilometre from the village, which would produce enough electricity to power approximately 13,100 homes.

"The development will generate a clean, renewable and sustainable form of electricity to help to meet the Government's legally binding targets of increased generation through renewables and ongoing commitments to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions," noted planning documents prepared by Flexygen Ltd on behalf of the applicant, Low Carbon UK Solar Investment Company Ltd.

The capacity of the solar farm would be approximately 44 megawatts (MW) at its peak and the panels will be lifted to a minimum of 0.8m off the ground and not exceed 3m in height. As well as the panels, the applicant is seeking permission for inverter stations, a distribution network operator substation, a control room, security fencing, CCTV and access track.

The farm's lifespan will be 40 years and it will operated remotely and unmanned, with weekly maintenance visits.

Access to the site is proposed to be taken from the existing Terrier's Farm private access from the B1051 and the development is expected to be constructed over about four months.

The design and access statement reads: "The development does not lie in, or close to any national landscape designations. It has been carefully designed following pre-application advice from the council and feedback from the local community. The effects on local landscape character and visual amenity are limited and the development is not deemed to negatively impact on the setting of Thaxted. It is considered to be acceptable with regards to ecology; flood risk; the historic environment; transport and access; public rights of way and noise."

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Low Carbon UK Solar Investment Company Ltd, a privately owned UK company, has funded the development of more than 320 MW of large-scale UK solar projects, generating enough clean energy to power more than 100,200 homes and saving in excess of 143,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, according to Flexygen.