Proposals for a solar farm across 11 fields near an ancient Buckinghamshire village are set to get the go-ahead. Councillors have been advised to grant planning permission for a scheme that could power more than 16,500 homes in the Aylesbury Vale district every year.
The plans follow a similar, larger proposal on the same site in the village of Dinton-with-Ford and Upton, around five miles southwest of Aylesbury . Those plans have been scaled down following refusal by the North Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee.
Low Carbon UK Solar Investment, who have put forward the plans, says the new scheme is 35 hectares smaller than the previous scheme and would have less of an impact on the surrounding landscape. The new proposals have been recommended for approval by planning officers at Buckinghamshire Council .
A planning statement submitted by Pegasus Group on behalf of the applicant argues that the need for the solar farm is "particularly important" thanks to the current energy crisis . The statement reads: "The solar farm can meet the energy needs of approximately 16,580 homes in the District.
"The generation of this level of renewable energy therefore represents a substantial benefit which would be experienced if planning permission were to be granted. The scheme also represents a significant financial investment, it is estimated that there will be up to 100 construction workers on-site during peak times of the construction period, a number of which can be sourced locally along with procurement of certain materials.
"There is also the potential for greater indirect investment through increased use of hospitality businesses in the local area by a number of the workers. The solar farm is a subsidy-free project, meaning that there are no cost burdens on the taxpayer or bill-payer.
"More renewable projects on the network are ultimately a way of reducing the costs of bills to the consumer through lessening the reliance on foreign-derived energy sources such as gas. This is particularly important in light of the surge in wholesale gas prices which show no sign of abating due to current world events."
The matter will be debated at a meeting of the North Area Planning Committee on Wednesday, October 26. The meeting takes place at 2.30pm.
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