Stargoose Solar Energy Farm Application Approved
Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, today received planning permission for its 50MW Stargoose Solar Energy Farm from South Cambridgeshire Planning Committee.
Located on land at the Childerley Estate, the proposal will generate enough electricity to power an estimated 14,200 homes, helping the UK achieve its climate change goals. In addition to panels for the generation of solar power, the approved plans include batteries for energy storage.
The proposals include many features to enhance local plant, animal and insect populations, including 10 hectares of new meadow grassland and over 3.5 hectares of woodland and new or restored hedgerow. Overall, the scheme will deliver an estimated 141% Biodiversity Net Gain1 under Natural England’s calculation of impact on local ecology and habitats.
Further wildlife measures include five new hedgehog homes and nearly 50 birdboxes suitable for a variety of species across the site. Plots to encourage Skylark nesting and successful breeding will also be created – helping to arrest the decline of songbird species.
Gareth Hawkins, UK Business Development Manager, commented:"We’re thrilled that the Planning Committee at South Cambridgeshire recognised this fantastic opportunity to contribute to the decarbonisation of the UK’s energy supply and approved the Stargoose Solar Energy Farm today. We’re particularly proud of the contribution that the solar energy farm will be making to wildlife, including fantastic Biodiversity Net Gain on the site which vastly exceeds the local targets of 20%.
“Also, as a result of today’s approval, we hope to offer construction employment opportunities for local people, and investment will be generated for the local community and environmental projects.”
Stargoose Solar Energy Farm is part of Statkraft’s commitment to deploy 600 MW of renewable projects in the UK by 2025, taking a firm role in the UK’s transition to net zero.
1. Details of the Biodiversity Net Gain calculation can be found in the planning application 21/02173/FUL on the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning portal.
Biodiversity Net Gain measures and accounts for nature losses and gains resulting from development or changes in land management. These can include features such as encouraging local plants and wildlife, creating new habitats and preserving key natural features. The Environment Act 2021 mandates locally and nationally significant developments to deliver a minimum of 10% biodiversity net gain. The full methodology for Biodiversity Net Gain can be found in Natural England’s evidence hub.