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Greybarn planning application submitted

04 Feb, 2022

Statkraft has submitted its planning application for Greybarn solar energy farm in Mid Suffolk. If consented, the application for a 29MVA solar farm, with up to 104MW of battery energy storage, will generate enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 9,200 homes.

Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, has submitted a planning application for a new solar energy farm on land to the south of Tye Lane, near Bramford in Mid Suffolk.

The proposed site covers an area of approximately 44 hectares on land south of Tye Lane, near to Bramford sub-station. If consented, the 29MVA solar farm, with up to 104MW of battery energy storage, would generate over 41 gigawatt hours of electricity per year producing enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 9,200 homes*.

Residents and community representatives living near to the site sent Statkraft their feedback on the proposed scheme last year. As part of the pre-application discussions, Statkraft opened an online hall for the project, sent letters and leaflets to members of the community advising them about the scheme and held online meetings and discussions. The feedback received helped shape the final design.

The main changes to the original proposal following the feedback received are:

  • Adoption of a southern access route off Bullen Lane, minimising the use of Tye Lane.
  • Removal of a site access point originally proposed near properties on Tye Lane.
  • Location of the onsite substation and battery storage elements so they are housed nearer to Bullen Lane sub-station and further away from residences.
  • Ecology and habitat improvements across the solar energy farm.
     

To improve habitats for wildlife and biodiversity, extensive new landscape planting is proposed both around and within the site and includes a wildlife corridor on either side of the footpath and a community orchard. The revised plans also include provision for a sustainable drainage system to ensure no increase to flood risk, improved vegetation screening, and realignment of internal access roads to minimise impacts on soils.

Gareth Hawkins, UK Business Development Manager for Statkraft says:

“We have listened to the feedback received and made changes to the design and layout of our solar energy farm as a result. We hope the local community will welcome these changes and continue to work with us as we develop the community benefit fund”. 

“Subject to planning approval, this solar energy farm has the potential to create local jobs and supply contracts during the construction, operation and maintenance phases of the build, and make a significant contribution to local business rates”.

He adds,

“Statkraft solar farms include many features to enhance local plant, animal and insect populations, including new or restored hedgerows, wildflower planting, bird and bat boxes and habitat for bumblebees; making this a great opportunity for local wildlife. We also plan for a community orchard at this site”.

The planning department at Babergh and Mid Suffolk Council will soon advise people how they can give feedback on the planning application if they would like to do so. Once the planning application has been validated, it will be available to view online, and be on deposit at the Council Offices and Bramford Parish Council Parish Room.

*Based on an average of the mean domestic annual electrical consumption for Babergh and Mid Suffolk in 2019. Data available at from the UK Government.