Plans for solar farm on 60-acre site near Marksbury

A planning application has been lodged with Bath & North East Somerset Council for a 60-acre solar farm on Green Belt land between Marksbury and Farmborough.

Renewable Connections Developments Ltd are behind the Marksbury Plain Solar Farm scheme, which they say would provide a clean, renewable and sustainable form of electricity for 40 years.

Planning permission is sought for the 15 megawatt (MW) ground-mounted solar farm on what is currently agricultural land crossed by two public rights of way.

The plans also include a substation compound, cable trench, inverters, a transformer station, internal access track, landscaping, biodiversity measures, a permissive footpath, security fencing, access improvements and other infrastructure on fields to the south of the A368 and west of A39.

The site is close to an existing small solar farm which can be seen in the distance

Immediately to the west of the site is Wilmington Farm Solar Array, which is described as small scale. There is also the 2.3MW Chelwood Solar Farm which lies further to the west.

The developers say the construction phase of the Marksbury Plain Solar Farm would take up to six months and involve up to 400 deliveries to site, on average around three HGV deliveries to the site per day. They say it would make a “meaningful contribution” to B&NES Council’s 2030 carbon neutral target.

They say: “Due to the benign appearance of the scheme, together with its rural location and proposed landscape enhancements, the development proposal will not have an unacceptable adverse impact on the visual amenity value or character of the local or the wider countryside by way of its siting, scale, form, massing or appearance.”

The planning application says that at the end of decommissioning following the 40-year generation period, the temporary permissive footpath would be removed.

The planning reference is 21/04881/FUL.

There is also a separate planning application for the installation of around 2.8km of underground cable between Marksbury Plain Solar Farm and the electricity network at land south east of Castle Farm. This would take about five weeks to lay, say the developers.

The planning reference for that is 21/05642/FUL. Public consultation on both applications runs until 3rd March.

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