Gayton Solar Farm
Development of a 49.72MW solar farm on the land at Milton Road, South Northamptonshire, NN7 3ER.
Anesco Limited is proposing to develop a 49.72MW solar farm on the land at Milton Road, South Northamptonshire, NN7 3ER. The proposal involves the construction and operation of a solar installation that will connect into the local
electricity network, comprising solar modules, solar inverters and associated works, including landscaping.
The grid connection location and substation location is shown in the furthest northern plot of land, to the south-
east of the boundary of the site. All cabling associated with the grid connection will be underground. The application
area will be approximately 70 hectares.
A Pre Application Enquiry, alongside an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) Screening request, was made to West Northamptonshire Council at the beginning of April. These have now been determined as of the 6th May 2021. The development has been classed as requiring an EIA, a detailed landscape and visual assessment is underway to confirm this requirement.
To access site maps and plans click on the links below:
We are now seeking views from residents on the proposal
We do encourage feedback, which can be made using the feedback form at the bottom of this page. Closing date for receipt of feedback is 25th June 2021.
Live webinar 10th June 2021
Residents were able to express their views at a live webinar that was held at 7pm on 10th June 2021.
The webinar can be viewed by clicking HERE
We distributed leaflets to to the surrounding area in advance of the webinar confirming how to take part in the event.
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.
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 Gayton solar project
The Gayton solar project is expected to power approximately 13,344 average UK homes. Furthermore,
the project is expected to generate 54,123MWh per annum which is anticipated to save over 11,840 tonnes
of CO2 emissions per annum. Projects of this kind also present biodiversity enhancement opportunities.
The proposed site is not located within an AONB (Area Outstanding Natural Beauty), Greenbelt, National Park or other designated landscape area, and it is set away from heritage designations and features. Anesco has started engagement with the local parish council and welcome opportunities to engage with local schools to provide tours of the solar farm in future.
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.
The closing date for feedback was 25th June 2021.
- 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 11,840 tonnes of Co2 per annum
Powering 13,344 homes
Q: How long will it take to construct the Gayton solar project?
A: 38-40 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 off Milton Road. This is intended to be the access during both construction and for ongoing maintenance services.
Q: Will we lose the trails, footpaths, and bridleways?
A: Local residents can continue to enjoy access to all trails, footpaths and bridleways during and after construction. In addition the solar panels will be fenced off.
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.