Wednesday 21 February 2024
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Nottingham

Solar farm the size of 100 football pitches planned for Nottinghamshire

A large solar farm is likely to be approved near Newark next week, despite objections from neighbours and local leaders.

The farm would cover open countryside between Caunton and Kelham and is being recommended for approval by council officers who have reviewed the plans.

It would cover 76 hectares – roughly equivalent in size to 76 rugby pitches.

A final decision will be made by district councillors next Thursday (November 9).

The solar farm would be located on the site for 40 years before being decommissioned, and the land returned to farming use.

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Developer Knapton Solar Limited estimates it will generate 49.4 megawatts every year – enough to power 16,000 homes.

It comes days after very early plans were revealed for a much larger project – the Great North Road Solar Park – which would effectively surround Caunton and the nearby villages.

The smaller application has attracted objections from seven neighbours, along with South Muskham and Little Carlton Parish Council, due to potential environmental and ecological impact.

Although design documents state the site is secluded and won’t have much visual impact, one neighbour described the likely effect as “catastrophic”.

They added: “Instead of beautiful countryside, we will be surrounded by an industrial estate with 24hr CCTV cameras.”

One Caunton resident wrote in their objection: “We understand the necessity, we understand the importance [for solar power]… However, we see the development as a financial bonanza for both the landowner and the developer at the expense of everybody else.

“We see it as a blight on the countryside to the detriment of all those who pass it, but especially those of us who will have to live with it for the next 30 years.”

Others were concerned about the loss of farmland, with one writing: “We need to consider the impact of wiping out fields that provide much needed crops.”

Ward councillor Sue Saddington called the application in – meaning the planning committee could take a closer look at it.

Council officers say the overall development would be acceptable.

A final decision will be made at the planning committee meeting for Newark & Sherwood District Council on Thursday, November 9.

UK Football pitch average size 1.4 hectares

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