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Solar farm on 11 hectares north of Gonerby Moor approved

By Judith Hawkins

A solar development
A solar development

An application to construct a solar farm of up to 22,000 panels on 11 hectares of land near Allington has today been approved subject to conditions.

The solar farm is to be built on an agricultural field north of Gonerby Lane, Allington about 100m from the A1 trunk road and near to the Gonerby Moor commercial area.

In addition to the solar development, the land will be used for sheep grazing.

Among the public speakers at the meeting of South Kesteven District Council’s planning committee, was former councillor Jeff Thompson. “I am the third generation of my family to have farmed that land and we’ve never had a good crop on it in my entire life,” he said.

Following an assessment as part of the application, the field was rated as grade 3b, classing it within land of poorer quality that according to national planning policy should be used in preference for such developments.

Some concerns were also raised by members of the development control committee regarding the ability to connect the site to the national grid, and on the extent of surrounding landscaping to prevent the solar panels from distracting drivers.

Kevin Robinson, agent for the applicant, said the farm would be capable of generating electricity for up to 1,240 homes a year, and would have a ‘negligible visual impact and no landscape impacts’.

Mr Robinson added: “We don’t yet have the exact details of where the connection will run to. But there is capacity in the area to take it.”

Amendments were added to the application by the committee, including that before any construction commences further details must be provided of the route of the underground connection to the national grid, and if this will result in any roadworks.

Another added condition was a requirement for trees to screen the site on the eastern side, and for construction work to take place within the hours of 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday.

The application was approved subject to these conditions, with 12 councillors voting for, two against, and none abstaining.


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