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.
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.
Thank you for reading this. The Week In has been publishing local news free of charge for the last 12 years. That won’t change in the future but we are changing the way we run our business. Until now, we have been solely dependent on advertising revenue but we have now set up a cooperative to oversee the future development of the publication. The Week In Community Ltd is a community benefit society, owned not by shareholders but individual members. By becoming a member at £3 a month you will not only be contributing to the future of local interest journalism but will also have a say in the future of the organisation. To find out more, click on the button on the right of the banner at the top of this page if you are on our website or select Premium Membership in My Profile on the app.