Coed Ely Solar Farm

Coed Ely Solar Farm

Project Information

Client: 3Ti Energy Hubs Ltd
Location: Eastbourne, Southampton, Crewe, Bury St Edmunds
Service: Planning Consultancy

Transforming a former colliery site into a major solar farm

The Challenge

Our challenge was to transform a former colliery site in the heart of the former South Wales coalfield into a renewable energy asset that can generate 6MW of clean energy to power a local hospital and help the Council decarbonise its estate. The development site was sensitive in nature, sitting elevated above the valley it was visible from the surrounding landscape and settlements, and following remediation it had re-established a strong green character and included pockets of habitat of ecological importance. A considered design approach was therefore required.

Our Role

We managed the entire planning process for the scheme, engaging with the Planning Authority to discuss the scheme and the key design and environmental considerations and then coordinating a multi-disciplinary team to prepare a robust planning application. Before the submission of the planning application, we undertook statutory consultation with key stakeholders but also helped deliver an additional programme of community engagement that included a series of workshops and public events with local residents.

Key feedback from residents was incorporated into the planning application. Following the submission of the planning application, we engaged closely with the Planning Authority to address minor technical queries and secure planning permission. As part of our planning consultancy role, we also managed the initial EIA process, preparing an EIA screening request, which successfully avoided the requirement for an EIA.

The Outcome

Our robust and proactive approach to managing the planning application ensured that an EIA was not required for the development and planning permission was secured promptly, avoiding delay and ensuring the Council could get on with delivering renewable energy to a local hospital and decarbonising its estate. The scheme stands as a good example of a sustainable place for appropriate renewable energy projects, all habitats of importance were protected and appropriate landscape screening was retained and added to help assimilate the development into the natural valley landscape.

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