Desborough Solar Farm, Northamptonshire

KEY FACTS

Desborough Solar Farm, Northamptonshire

PBA helped Northfield UK Solar secure planning permission for one of the UK’s largest solar parks.

The solar park, at the former RAF Desborough airfield in Northamptonshire, will generate up to 49.9 MW of electricity (0.1MW beneath the threshold for a nationally significant infrastructure project) on the 112 hectare airfield. The solar park will be connected to the electricity network via a 33kV underground connection, which has also been consented.

PBA's technical services helped overcome the challenges at the site, which included:

  • Successful integration of the proposals into the landscape through sensitive siting of the development and a comprehensive landscape strategy. 
  • Detailed optioneering on whether the electrical connection was underground or over ground and to identify the most suitable point of connection and sub-station location.
  • Integrated long-term strategy for landscape and ecology management at the site.
  • Identification and protection of key habitats and species within and adjacent to the site to protect important features and ensure a net gain in biodiversity.
  • Temporary one-way system on local roads to minimise disruption during construction.

Community and stakeholder engagement was a key feature of this project.  We managed the EIA process that robustly addressed concerns of local stakeholders to secure a planning permission in accordance with programme tied to grid connection process. PBA was able to resolve all of the issues raised while, as noted by the client, having no adverse effect on the viability of the proposals.

The solar park is expected to come on line in 2017, following upgrades to local infrastructure.

“PBA has been fantastic right through from pre-application to decision day. They have helped manage the project, provided top quality work, and we have full confidence in their advice with regards to large-scale solar planning". Fin Reid - Project Development Associate