Plans submitted for Darlington solar farm on 66 hectares of land

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A CONSULTATION is underway on a solar farm project near Darlington.

The development by British solar developer Lightrock Power would cover 66 hectares of land north of Sadberge.

The company says Longpasture Solar Farm will generate enough energy to power 14,000 homes or 17,700 electric vehicles.

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Chris Sowerbutts, co-founder of Lightrock Power said, “This is a great site for solar power; it gets lots of sun, is well protected and has good access. We are also very happy to be able to connect to the local electricity grid on site, which means minimal disruption to the local community.

“We are delighted to be able to provide a community endowment worth £100,000 which will continue to work long after our solar panels have been recycled.

“Grants can be applied for through the County Durham Community Foundation once the site is up and running.”

There have been a series of recent applications for solar farms in the region.

Elsewhere, plans for a 62-hectare solar farm have been submitted by Aura Power on land in Burtree Lane, Whessoe.

Northumbrian Water also wants to install nearly 16,000 solar panels near its Broken Scar facility.

And last year a Durham County Council planning committee approved proposals for another solar project by Lightrock Power near Brafferton.

The company says it is working with the RSPB to create the best possible habitat for wildlife.

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Measures such as incorporating mammal barriers into site fencing and creating new wildlife corridors will allow a diverse range of species to thrive.

A spokesperson for Lightrock added: “The crisis in Ukraine has made the UK’s exit from oil and gas more urgent than ever and expanding renewable energy generation at home will allow us to regain control. of our electricity supply”.

Lightrock Power has written to residents inviting them to learn more about the project and provide feedback.

The early community consultation runs from June 6 to July 4.

An online exhibit detailing the plans is available at www.longpasturessolarfarm.com.

Subject to consultations and further site assessments, the company intends to submit a development application during the summer.

Printed copies of all online material can be obtained by contacting Lightrock Power on 0114 2866217 or by emailing longpasture@lightrockpower.com.

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