Altered design and management features of what is believed to be Britain’s biggest solar farm have today been published for public comment.

Developer and asset management company Low Carbon’s Gate Burton PV-plus-battery project near Gainsborough needs greenlighting by the UK’s central Planning Inspectorate (PI).

Its benchmark 500MWp capacity beats the 100MWp limit for local planners’ approval, and qualifies it as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).

Grid connection will be via NG-ESO’s hub at Cottam, Notts. At peak output, Gate Burton would be pumping clean power equivalent to that consumed by 160,000 typical homes.

The developers say today’s changes, centering on improvements for safeguarding the plot’s ecology, reflect ideas contributed in a recently completed round of comments contributed by neighbours at the site, near the Trent on the A156 north west of Lincoln.

This second consultation will run from today until 5 August.  Over 7,000 postcards inviting comments have been sent to neighbours, community groups and stakeholders.

Based on responses received, the developers will then submit an application to the PI.  Low Carbon is also asking how community initiatives and benefits linked to the Energy Park should be managed.

For the asset investment managers, development director Mike Rutgers said: “This is a major milestone for Low Carbon as we approach our planning submission.

“The community asked us to work with other developers in the area to reduce cumulative impacts.

“By seeking to align our Grid Connect Route with other proposals in the area” Rutgers went on, “we hope to pursue the most efficient way of working and minimise any adverse impacts on the community”.

For more details, visit the Energy Park’s website.

Britain’s biggest solar farm to be consented so far is Wirsol and Hive Energy’s 350MWp Cleve Hill venture on the north Kent coast near Faversham.   Despite protests including from local Conservative MP and junior minister Helen Whatley, the £450million project received the PI’s blessing in May 2020.


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