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Work begins on Site at North Angle Solar Farm

The scale and impact of climate change is one of the biggest challenges we have ever faced and there is an urgent need for strong and integrated action. As such, our Planning team was thrilled to work with Bouygues Energies & Services and Cambridgeshire County Council to secure planning permission for a project that is sure to make a positive difference.

The recently secured planning permission is for a new solar farm at North Angle Farm, Soham, Cambridgeshire. The site is located adjacent to an existing solar farm at Triangle Farm and will use the existing access tracks.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s vision is to deliver net zero carbon emissions for the region by 2050, whilst supporting communities and the region’s biodiversity to flourish. The solar array at North Angle Farm forms part of this vision and will be capable of generating 29MW for the national grid.

The solar farm brings with it a number of benefits such as:

  • Generating nearly the same amount of electricity as used by 12,000 households annually and would prevent the emission of more than 230,000 tonnes of CO2 over the solar farm’s lifetime.
  • An increase in biodiversity value by expanding the habitats available.
  • Renewable power delivered as solar electricity into the national grid.
  • Improved community amenity through the creation of a new footpath, community green space, and a wildflower meadow.

 

Our work

Having identified the site, the design team started the detailed feasibility and design appraisal for the project to minimise significant environmental effects and to maximise the renewable energy generated by the project.

As part of this process, the project team was able to optimise the design and reduce the area required for solar panels. This included removing panels from two southern fields, removing modules from approximately 11ha, or approximately 15% of the area originally considered for the project.

The inclusion of a community green space in the southern field, including over 6,000m2 of woodland and over 2km of new hedging provides visual screening for the project as well as significant ecological habitat enhancement.

As part of the iterative project development phase, the project design was adapted to include the following enhancements:

  • A reduction in scale to reduce the visual and landscape impact of the project.
  • The inclusion of over 2km of new or reinforced hedging and new woodland to help screen the solar array.
  • Enhanced biodiversity and habitat across the site as set out on the previous page.
  • The inclusion of community green space in the southern field, including woodland, fruit trees and species-rich grassland.
  • Enhanced hedging in places around the site to mitigate any risks of glint and glare from the project.
  • The inclusion of a new footpath (approximately 2.7km), around the site.
  • The amendment of the fencing design to a standard agricultural deer fence to reduce visual impact.
  • The inclusion of deer gates to allow for the management of any deer that get into the array.

The solar farm will enable Cambridgeshire County Council to make a meaningful contribution to its vision to deliver net zero carbon emissions for the region by 2050, whilst supporting communities and the region’s biodiversity to flourish.

To find out more about our planning services contact us today.