Solar farm proposed near Dunmow

Solar Farm

Solar Farm - Credit: Archant

A proposal for a solar power farm in Little Dunmow creating enough electricity to power more than 2,900 homes has been submitted to Uttlesford District Council.

The company applying to set up the farm says the carbon savings are the equivalent of taking 1,100 large family cars off the road. It says if the plan goes ahead, it could save 2,640 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year. Lightsource, a leading solar power company which has offices in London, Bath, Belfast and Livingstone in Scotland, has asked the authority to look at its plan and give feedback on any environmental impact of the installation.

The business wants to develop the solar resource on 12 hectares of land at Tooleys Farm, off the A120. The site is a kilometre west of Little Dunmow and 400 metres east of the B1008 road and Oak Industrial Estate. It would be accessed via Grange Lane, which also serves Tooleys farmyard and grain stores.

Lightsource has told Uttlesford: “Solar PV (photovoltaics) is one of the least technically complex and lowest impact energy generation methods available. The solar farm will not result in any hazardous impacts.”

It says: “The solar farm is expected to last 30 years, after which the site will be returned to its previous greenfield character.”

The methods used in construction, including piling the mounting frames rather than using concrete foundations, mean that the field can be restored to its former state very easily.

Lightsource says: “The solar farm will not impact directly on soils or lead to their permanent loss. On the contrary, the use of the site for a solar farm will allow soils to rest and regenerate as fallow land.”