‘Huge’ solar farm to be constructed near Alford

Planning

Planning

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A 49-acre solar farm is set to be constructed in Habertoft, near Alford, after planning permission was granted today (September 3).

At an East Lindsey planning meeting today, councillors voted 9-0 (with two abstentions) in favour of allowing applicants LarkEnergy to develop the ambitious project on 49 acres of Grade three agricultural land off Habertoft Lane.

Once completed, it will consist of no fewer than 40,744 south-facing panels formed into 37 rows on land the combined size of almost 50 football pitches.

Other infrastructure will include 14 cabins, two substations, a storage container, an operational building and 25 pole-mounted security CCTV units.

The committee noted that two parish councils - Orby and Willoughby-with-Sloothby - were both opposed to the project, but the district council’s case officer, Shaun Robson, was in favour on the grounds that “the need for renewable generating capacity weighs considerably in favour of the application”.

Natural England was invited to submit an assessment on the potential impact of any wildlife, but declined to do so. However, LarkEnergy’s own ecological appraisal claims that “direct impact on protected species is unlikely” and that proposed hedge planting will create a “green corridor” for birds and other creatures.

• Read the full story in next week’s newspaper.