First solar farm nationally significant infrastructure project application submitted

An application for the first solar park to be dealt with through the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS).

Solar farm: first DCO application submitted
Solar farm: first DCO application submitted

The scheme's promoter's, Cleve Hill Solar Park Ltd, submitted its application for a development consent order (DCO) for the project on Friday.

The proposed solar farm would be located across a 491.2 hectare site on the north Kent coast roughly one mile northeast of Faversham and three miles west of Whitstable, and close to the village of Graveney, within the district of Swale.

The applicant said it could provide enough electricity to power over 91,000 homes and save over 2.2 million tonnes of CO2.

The application also outlines plans for a 56 hectare area for bird habitat management, 3.5km of hedgerow planting to shield views of the site, and areas of lowland meadow to encourage the bee population.

Due to its proposed generation capacity being over 50MW, the scheme would be the first solar farm to be classified as an NSIP. 

PINS now has 28 days from the submission date to formally accept the application for determination. 

Cleve Hill Solar Park is a joint venture formed by two solar developers, Hive Energy and Wirsol Energy. The applicant is being advised by law firm Pinsent Masons.

Pre-application proposals for the solar farm were unveiled in November 2017. 

Last week, the Welsh Government gave the go-ahead to a 50MW solar farm and battery storage hub near Newport, with the potential to power 15,000 homes.

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