A solar farm near Whitchurch will be in place for an extra 10 years after councillors agreed to an extension.

The panels, on land south of Hadley Farm which is owned by Prees councillor Paul Wynn, were set to be removed in 2046 under a temporary 30.5-year planning permission granted in 2015.

The northern planning committee heard the company which operates the solar farm, Lightsource SPV 74 Limited, now expected the panels to be capable of working for a longer period of time.

As the landowner, committee chairman Councillor Wynn left the room during the debate and was not able to vote.

Planning officer Kelvin Hall said there had been no comments on the application, and it was only before the committee due to the site being owned by an elected member.


Mr Hall said: “Temporary permission was granted for 30 years. The application proposes to extend this to 40 years as the panels are expected to operate efficiently well beyond the 30-year currently defined term.

“There is an existing approved landscaping plan that will remain in place throughout the duration of the operational site, and it’s also recommended that the biodiversity management plan is extended as well, so that the benefits can continue to endure for the full 40-year period.

“Clearly there are renewable energy benefits to retaining the site, however it will also be remaining within the landscape for an additional time.

“On balance, officers consider that the benefits of the scheme outweigh those negative elements.”

Councillors unanimously agreed to the time extension.

Councillor Vince Hunt said: “I do think it’s worth just making sure everybody understands that Paul doesn’t actually own the business or the panels. He owns the land upon which they stand and it’s rented off him.”