Plans go in for 30 hectare solar farms site to power 14,000 homes

Britain's biggest gas network launches first ever solar North Norfolk.Pictures: Cadent

EDF Renewables have lodges plans with South Norfolk Council for a 49.9 MW solar farm at Bloy’s Grove between Swainsthorpe and Mulbarton. - Credit: Archant

A solar farm capable of generating enough low carbon electricity for 14,600 South Norfolk households could be built.  

EDF Renewables has lodged plans with South Norfolk Council for a 49.9 megawatt solar farm located on land at Bracon Ash between Swainsthorpe and Mulbarton.  

The installation includes 27 ground-mounted solar photovoltaic panels and associated infrastructure over an area of approximately 30 hectares - on land named Bloy's Grove.

It comes after the company’s project team received feedback from local stakeholders and residents during an extended 10-week public consultation period which came to an end on January 11. 

EDF Renewables also carried out environmental impact assessments which helped to “refine” its plans. 

The council will now consider the application and carry out its own public consultation before reaching a decision. 

Darren Cuming, planning and consent manager at EDF Renewables, said: “We are grateful for the feedback we received during the consultation, and are pleased to have been able to accommodate many excellent suggestions made to us in this final planning application, and mitigate some of the concerns held.  

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“What came through strongly is that people recognise that action is needed to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies, with considerable interest in our pledge to improve biodiversity on site over the lifetime of the project.  

“Our engagement showed that people generally accept that solar is part of the solution but want projects to be sensitively developed.

"We are firmly committed to solar as a technology which will help us accelerate a net zero future where clean energy powers all our lives.” 

The Bloy’s Grove project could contribute to saving around 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. 

The project will also deliver significant additional local benefits.  

If planning permission is granted, a community fund of £20,000 will be paid annually for the 35-year lifetime of the project.

The renewable energy company says it has listened to feedback and thus reduced the number of panel rows in the north-east of the site to reduce visual impact on nearby residents.   

It will also improve biodiversity on site, such as planting trees, hedges, and wildflower and grass meadow throughout the site as well as pledging to plant an orchard on the edge of the site.