Solar farm plans submitted for former Asfordby Colliery site

An example of a solar development EMN-141011-090732001
An example of a solar development EMN-141011-090732001
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Plans for a 34-acre solar farm to be developed on part of the former Asfordby Colliery site have been unveiled.

Renewable energy specialists First Renewable and regeneration company Harworth Estates want to build the solar farm on what they describe as restored ‘back-fill’ land associated with the old mine site.

A planning statement submitted to Melton Council said: “The development will provide sufficient electricity to power around 1,500 average UK households.

“The application site is considered appropriate. The land is predominantly screened by the surrounding topography between the site and the nearest residential properties. The site also benefits from extensive mature screening to its perimeters. The only properties that would see the development are a select few on the northern side of the A6006 at Asfordby Hill - at a distance of 1.6km from the application site at its closest point.

“Many of the residents of these properties attended the public exhibition, as letters were sent directly to those closest to the development.

“It was noted that none of the residents who attended opposed the development (19 attendees), with many expressing their support and appreciation for the carefully designed layout.”

The former colliery site was previously considered for a windfarm and then a plant for organic waste before interest was shown in a solar farm.

The applicants say their solar farm, which is anticipated to take up to eight weeks to build, will ‘offset up to 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year - equivalent to taking about 1,500 cars off the road’.

The planning statement added: “The applicant is keen for the project site to be an educational resource to teach younger generations about the importance of renewable energy and climate change.

“A community dividend package is not a requirement to render the proposal acceptable in planning terms. However, the applicant is keen for the development to invest in the community and, as such, a community dividend package of about £3,750 per year will be provided to the local community to be spent on projects as decided by the people of the local community. Over the scheme’s 20-year life this equates to up to £200,000 being provided.”

In terms of access, a transport statement said construction vehicles would ‘follow the same local traffic route that the Asfordby Industrial Estate follows, arriving from the north along the A606, turning right on to St Bartholomew’s Way and then Welby Lane into the industrial estate.’

Melton Council will decide the application in due course.