Our team provided a multi-disciplinary service for the development of a 30 MW solar park, including new access, photovoltaic panels, transformers, inverters, security fencing, communications tower, substation and CCTV in the upper Welsh Valleys. The project was determined under the bespoke Welsh infrastructure consenting procedure for Developments of National Significance. The open pasture site is currently visible from the local highway network currently.
Wauntysswg Farm Solar Park
Elgin Energy EsCo Ltd
Near Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent County Borough
The site is located within a Special Landscape Area, Visually Important Local Landscape and approximately 400m from a Scheduled Ancient Monument in the form of a rare cholera cemetery. The site is also a habitat for curlew and contains species rich marshy grassland. These issues presented a number of challenges that had to be overcome for the project to move forward.
Our team successfully demonstrated that the Welsh Government’s policy is that only direct and irreversible impact on statutory designations (i.e. National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and (“where relevant”) their settings are to be considered when deciding whether to grant planning permission for renewable energy developments.
We successfully argued that the project was fully reversible at the end of its 30 years life and so the impact on the setting of the Scheduled Ancient Monument was acceptable in planning policy terms. The Welsh Planning Minister agreed and granted planning permission in July 2019.
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