A huge solar farm is to be built in Fishburn, County Durham

Fishburn Solar Limited has received approval to build the 187 hectare site on land near the village.

The large site, which covers around 106 football pitches, is bordered by Fishburn Airfield to the west, the Spennymoor Clay Pigeon Club to the north-west and a smaller solar farm to the north-east.

The proposal, submitted by applicant Locogen, received 105 letters of support from residents compared to 16 objections. A public consultation was held at Fishburn Village Hall in June last year where Locogen was praised for the “community consensus” it had achieved.

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Still, some residents said they had not been fully informed. Fishburn resident Valerie Thompson likened the solar farm to an “eyesore” on the landscape and said it would be “as bad as the pit that was once very close to the terrace where I live would be again remain behind and completely devalue the area.”

A Durham County Council planning meeting on Monday heard how the landowner’s family had been exploring new ways to use their farmland before settling on a solar farm.

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Kerry Morgan, landowner, told the meeting that the proposed locations for grain growing were now borderline viable.

She added: “This unique opportunity to farm for electricity and convert fields back to grass will allow us to diversify our agricultural business, continue farming in a more economical and environmentally friendly way and, most importantly, enable the next generation to to decide what is in the best interest of the farm.”

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According to Locogen, solar panels will only take up about five percent of the intended area, the rest can be used as sheep pasture.

In addition, the developer has worked out a number of funding benefits, with around £15,000 per year set to be made available to the community.

The proposal was approved by the planning committee and construction is expected to begin later this year.

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/23781342.huge-solar-farm-built-fishburn-county-durham/?ref=rss A huge solar farm is to be built in Fishburn, County Durham


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