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Solar Farm In Shropshire Obtains Planning Approval

Solar panel farms continue to attract the support of planning officers in various locations around the UK generating electricity in an eco-friendly manner. At the same time, they have the potential to be a worthwhile investment.

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(image credit: russf)

Shropshire now sees its first solar panel farm get planning permission following the agreement by Shropshire Council. The farm is to be situated at Hayford Farm that is near Westbury – about eight miles to the west of Shrewsbury.

The 22-hectare site that will be operated by Wind & Solar Systems Ltd (WSS) will have £12 million of solar panels providing electricity to the National Grid through transformers. They have the capability of producing sufficient electricity to provide power to almost 3,000 properties.

The installation will include several thousand solar panels that are 3 metres in height attached to frames made of metal that are located in the ground. Each year, the saving in carbon emissions is forecast to be in excess of 4.5 million kilograms for a 20-year period.

Originally Wind & Solar Systems Ltd had intended to develop five solar panel farms in the Westbury area at a cost of £60 million but those proposals were cancelled when the new feed in tariffs were reduced by the government. Instead, in August 2012, the company submitted new plans to Shropshire Council.

Guy Maxwell who is with Roger Parry & Partners that acted as scheme agents, feels that the solar panel farm could be in-situ and operating by as quickly as June of this year. The proposed location of the solar panel farm is hidden as it is enclosed by tall hedgerows and a belt of trees. Another benefit is that the connection capability to the National Grid is very good meaning that the existing infrastructure will not need to be upgraded.

Stuart Thomas who is a council planner commented in a report that recommended the scheme be approved that there was no objection from an in-principle planning policy viewpoint to the creation of a solar panel farm at the intended site. It was not felt that the revised proposal would have a detrimental impact on the area’s rural character or visual amenity.

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