Carr House Solar Farm: Plans submitted for 55-hectare solar farm in Yorkshire countryside

Plans for a huge solar farm in the Yorkshire countryside have been submitted to the local council.

Renewable Connections Developments Ltd has applied to create a major solar farm at Carr House Farm in East Heslerton, near Scarborough.

The 50 hectares of land – equivalent to around 70 football pitches – would be used for solar energy for four decades, according to planning documents submitted to North Yorkshire Council.

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The applicant has described itself as “one of the most experienced renewable energy teams in the UK” and has developed “more than 1 Gigawatt of solar projects globally since 2010”.

A huge solar farm could be built on land in the Yorkshire countrysideA huge solar farm could be built on land in the Yorkshire countryside
A huge solar farm could be built on land in the Yorkshire countryside

Renewable Connections also stated that a local community consultation was run for a month last summer and that it had “considered and implemented all comments” from the community “where appropriate”.

Although the consultation included local residents, businesses, and local district, and county councillors, the applicant said it received only four feedback forms in total, despite outreach via online and physical mail.

Original proposals for the scheme stated that the solar farm would be 89 hectares in size and would have eventually provided enough power for 7,400 homes, but the development has since been scaled down.

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The solar farm would still include battery storage, transformers, substations and a variety of other associated infrastructure. If given the go-ahead, the construction phase of the development is expected to increase traffic on the road network surrounding the site, including the A64, for up to five months or more. The works would require 38 two-way vehicle movements per day, according to the plans.

Concerns had also previously been raised about the loss of agricultural land and other impacts of the development on the rural environment.

However, an impact assessment report states: “Whilst this land would not be available for intensive agricultural use, the applicant states that the resource would not be permanently lost and some agricultural activity could occur through grazing.”

It adds that existing green corridors would be retained and that the creation of new hedgerows could enhance foraging and nesting opportunities for a range of species including birds, invertebrates, and bats.

The proposal is pending consideration with the local planning authority and members of the public can make representations to the council.

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