Solarcentury Gains Planning Approval for Oxfordshire Solar Park

Solarcentury has announced it has gained planning consent to build a 13.4 MWp solar park near Eynsham, Oxfordshire in Prime Minister David Cameron’s constituency.

The solar park will generate enough clean solar electricity to power the equivalent of around 4,000 homes once connected to the grid.

In selecting the site, careful consideration was given to minimising the impact on local residents and maximising the benefit for wildlife. Hedging and trees will be planted to ensure the site is screened from view. And the park will be transformed into a wildflower meadow designed to stimulate biodiversity by creating conditions that are attractive to a wide variety of birds, butterflies and bumblebees.

Support for the Eynsham solar park in Mr Cameron’s constituency demonstrates a wider truth. In communities across the country, there is a willingness to accept well sited, sensitively developed solar parks, particularly those that deliver clean energy alongside significant improvements in site biodiversity. This was certainly our experience with the Eynsham application. During the formal planning application process the site received significant local endorsement with members of the local community writing letters of support, with only a single objection.

Frans van den Heuvel, CEO at Solarcentury commented: “Our day to day experience at Eynsham and elsewhere is a million miles away from the unhelpful stereotyping of solar parks presented by some MPs and parts of the media. On the contrary, the reality is if you get the site, mitigation and biodiversity right, local people and their representatives will welcome such developments.”

Solarcentury’s planning partner, David Grindley of Savills Energy said, “Good site selection is critical and challenging. The park needs to be sited near a suitable grid connection, it can’t be too disruptive during construction, and it has to be well screened once built. This planning decision continues our successful track record with Solarcentury of developing only the best sites.”

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