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Solar farm planned between Bottesford and Belvoir Castle is as big as 260 football pitches

A solar farm covering an area of 260 football pitches is being proposed for land between Bottesford and Belvoir Castle.

The proposal, by the Gloucestershire-based Pegasus Group on behalf of JBM Solar, would see 140 hectares of land on the Belvoir Estate used for the renewable energy scheme.

Known as Belvoir Solar Farm, it would have a generating capacity of up to 50 megawatts, producing enough renewable energy to meet the annual needs of 15,000 homes.

The site of the proposed solar farm betwen Bottesford and Belvoir (43239040)
The site of the proposed solar farm betwen Bottesford and Belvoir (43239040)

In a leaflet delivered to residents in villages near to the site, JBM Solar says that, because of coronavirus, it is unable to hold a public consultation on the proposed scheme.

Instead, people are invited to submit questions or comments through a dedicated project website, www.belvoirsolarfarm.co.uk, or by email or post.

The site falls between the villages of Bottesford, Muston, Redmile and Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir. It would reach from the A52 Bottesford bypass in the north to Grantham Canal near Muston Gorse Farm in the south.

JBM Solar, which describes itself as having a proven track record of developing well-designed solar projects in the UK and Ireland, says it has selected the site after a detailed feasibility process.

The company said: “Consideration has been given to, among other things, grid capacity, solar irradiation, environmental designations, cultural heritage, ecology and biodiversity, flood risk and agricultural land quality.”

It says the site could be used for grazing throughout the operation of the solar farm and could be returned to its original agricultural use at the end of its 40-year lifespan.

JBM Solar says benefits of the solar farm would include the displacement of 858,280 tonnes of C02, allowing the local authority for the area, Melton Borough Council, to play its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with local, national and international targets. It would also operate subsidy-free.

A planning application is expected to be submitted to Melton Borough Council by the end of this year.

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