MORE than 120 ground-mounted solar panels can be installed at a farm outside Whitchurch, Shropshire Council has confirmed.

Permission to place an additional 50kw of panels at Lea Hall Farm Hall, in Ash Parva, was granted by Shropshire Council on Monday, September 4, just two months after the application was submitted.

Once installed, there will be more than 300 panels at the farm, overall.

Shropshire Council planning officer Richard Denison said the application was given permission but on the condition that work to protect great crested newts is carried out.


He said: “This application seeks planning approval for the installation of an additional 122 50kW ground-mounted solar panels, to the southeast of the farmhouse.

“The site gained approval for 204 ground-mounted solar panels in 2011.

“The additional array is located in a field south of the existing PV array and would consist of 122 photovoltaic panels that convert daylight into electricity, direct sunlight is not required.

“The farm and associated buildings would utilize the electricity generated by the PV’s. Electricity not used on site would be exported to the National Grid, providing a wider community benefit.

“The development proposed would not result in the loss of agricultural land, as the installation of the PV’s is a temporary, albeit long-term, use of the land, which would incorporate the existing arable use, alongside the energy generation function of the PV’s.

“The anticipated life span of the PV’s is 25 years.”

He concluded: “The proposed development with regards to the siting, scale and design of the solar panels is deemed to be acceptable, in that the panels will bear a good relationship with the sites existing built development and layout, while ensuring no visual harm will be caused to the rural landscape/setting.

“The development raises no concerns with regards to ecology or drainage matters.”

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A design and access statement for the application stated: “The farm and associated buildings would utilise the electricity generated by the PV’s. 

“Electricity not used on site would be exported to the National Grid, providing a wider community benefit.

“The PV’s would be laid two high, portrait format, in two rows orientated east to west, facing south.

“The PV’s are installed with a 20mm spacing between each module to allow for expansion.”