Development of a 19MW solar project on the land at Beavor Grange Farm, Sector Lane, Stammery Hill, Devon, EX13 5SE
Anesco Limited is proposing to develop a 19MW solar project on the land at Beavor Grange Farm.
The proposal involves the construction and operation of a solar farm that will connect into the local electricity network. The solar farm will be made up of modules, solar inverters, transformers substation and associated works. Alongside this equipment, Anesco will be including additional landscaping and biodiversity enhancements.
The proposed location of this solar farm is shown in the map opposite and within the drawings provided below.
To access site maps and plans click on the links below:
A pre application advice request was sent to East Devon District Council on the 7th June 2021, this was acknowledged and we anticipate that advice will be given by the end of July.
The grid connection and substation location will be located to the northwest of the site, as shown in the drawings within the links above. Cabling associated with the grid connection will be underground and not visible. The application area will be approximately 28 hectares and planning permission will be sough for a period of 40 years.
Climate change emergency
In June 2019, the UK government became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. What this means is that by this date, the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions will be carbon neutral, creating a better environment now, and for generations to come.
Carbon neutral is about finding a balance between the total greenhouse gas emissions being produced, and the total emissions being removed from the environment. This commitment to becoming carbon neutral is a substantial increase on the UK’s previous target and comes at a time when pressure is building on governments to recognise and take urgent action in light of the climate emergency.
The Beavor Grange solar project
The Beavor Grange solar project is expected to power approximately 5,150 average UK homes. Furthermore, the project is expected to generate 19,715MWh per annum which is anticipated to save over 4,555 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.
Projects of this kind also present biodiversity enhancement opportunities and the proposed site is not located within an AONB (Area Outstanding Natural Beauty), Greenbelt, National Park, SSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) or other designated landscape area. It also sits away from heritage designations and features.
The solar farm would be set back from residential properties, which would limit views of the development within the local area. A full landscape and visual impact assessment will be completed and further screening will be implemented where required. Anesco has engaged with the local parish council and also welcome opportunities to engage with local schools to provide tours of the solar farm in future.
About solar technology
Solar is the most popular renewable technology in the world and is an incredibly clean source of renewable energy. Unlike other renewable technologies, solar panels have no moving parts and therefore operate silently. They are also low in height and can be hidden behind hedgerows or fencing, minimising the visual impact on the landscape.
The RSPB ‘State of Nature Report’ highlights the severity of the decline in British wildlife. It details that of the 8,431 species that have been assessed using regional Red List criteria, 15% have been classified as threatened with extinction from Great Britain. Climate change is driving widespread changes in the abundance, distribution, and ecology of the UK’s wildlife, and will continue to do so for decades or even centuries to come.
Solar farms present an excellent opportunity for biodiversity. The proposed solar farm will be installed on piles with minimal disturbance to the ground. The solar panels have no moving parts and the infrastructure typically disturbs less than 5% of the ground. The posts upon which the panels are mounted take up less than 1% of the land area. Because panels are raised above the ground on posts, more than 95% of a solar farm field area is still accessible for plant growth and potentially for wildlife enhancements. The proposed solar farm would have a lifespan of 40 years which is sufficient time for appropriate land management to yield real wildlife and biodiversity improvements within the local area.
A site-specific biodiversity plan will be devised to cover the lifetime of the proposed solar farm, working closely with the ecologists, and conservation organisations to ensure that the biodiversity enhancements are most appropriate to the local area.
We are now seeking views from residents on the proposal
Leaflets have been sent to the community of Axminster encouraging feedback on this proposed development, we also welcome feedback via this website using the feedback form at the bottom of this page, or you can email [email protected]
Unfortunately, due to the restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic, we are unable to host a public consultation event in person within the local village of Axminster.
Closing date for receipt of feedback is 16th July 2021
ONLINE FEEDBACK FORM
- Close proximity of a viable grid connection point
- Suitable topography and ground composition
- A suitable grade of land
- The site is not located within a Greenbelt, Area of Natural Beauty, National Park, Site of Scientific Interest or other ecological designation.
- The area is not a flood risk
Clean green technology
Saving 4,555 tonnes of Co2 per annum
Powering 5,150 average UK homes
Q: How long will it take to construct the Beavor Grange solar project?
A: 20-24 weeks including the site set-up and site clearance.
Q: Do solar farms make any noise?
A: Solar farms have no moving parts so there is no noise.
Q: How will the site be accessed?
A: The site will be accessed via Sector Lane. This is intended to be the access during both construction and for ongoing maintenance services.
Q: Do solar panels create glint and glare?
A: Solar panels are designed to absorb light rather than reflect it and there is little risk of glint and glare.
Q: What ecological enhancements are there?
A: As 95% of the land used is available for plant growth and wildlife, solar farms provide and excellent opportunity for biodiversity.
Q: Do solar farms require a lot of maintenance?
A: No, maintenance is very limited and usually involves 1 visit per month by two operatives who attend site with a van.
Q: How will the electricity generated benefit the local residents?
A: All of the power will be fed directly into the local grid network, however there will also be biodiversity enhancements throughout the site. We welcome community engagement with ongoing biodiversity monitoring and schools visits to the solar farm.
Q: What happens at the end of the 40 year term?
A: The solar farm will be decommissioned, equipment removed and the site will return to its former state unless there is a possibility of further extending the term with the local planning authority, which would be determined in the future.