Pegasus Group submitted the application on behalf of Branston Solar Extension Ltd to deliver 49.9MW of solar energy from a site covering 97ha of land and generating energy to power 15,000 homes.
The extension will stand adjacent to the existing 15MW scheme proposed by Pegasus Group in 2014.
Pegasus Group worked closely with councilors and planning officers across multiple authorities, and engaged the local community through consultation and public meetings, giving presentations on the scheme in order to provide a viable proposal with associated community benefits. As a result, the scheme secured officer recommendation without any objections from statutory bodies or members of the public.
Emma Ridley, a planner with Pegasus Group, said: “To receive planning approval with no objections reflects not only the viability of the scheme and suitability of the site, but also the depth of work carried out in respect of community consultation.
“Pre-application discussions and an EIA screening were undertaken with the council prior to the formal submission of the application which went on to include a detailed landscape and ecological masterplan accounting for the potential presence of ground nesting birds in the area.”
Appropriate mitigation was proposed in the application, including the provision of skylark plots and supplementary planting to protect views in and out of the site.
Emma added: “We managed the entire process on behalf of Branston Solar Extension Ltd and provided Planning, Heritage, Landscape, Minerals, Design and Consultation services with our submission setting out the economic and environmental benefits of the scheme.”
The solar farm extension will be built on land between Mere Road and Sleaford Road, near to the Branston potato factory. Land to the south currently comprises open agricultural land with hedgerow borders in all directions. Permission was granted for 35 years, after which the site will be decommissioned and returned to agricultural land.