Securing planning permission for a solar park at the former Royal Airforce Desborough airfield in Northamptonshire
The 112-hectare former Royal Air Force Desborough airfield in Northamptonshire will be one of the United Kingdom’s largest solar energy parks, generating nearly 50 megawatts of electricity and connecting to the electricity grid via a 33 kilovolt underground connection. But first, our client needed approvals to move ahead.
We contributed community and stakeholder engagement support for this project, including managing the environmental impact assessment process that addressed the concerns of local residents and helped secure planning permission related to a grid connection process plan. We also provided technical services, helping overcome several challenges at the site—for example, the successful integration of proposals into the landscape through sensitive siting of the development and a comprehensive landscape strategy.
We supported detailed optioneering on whether the connection was underground or over-ground, identifying the most suitable point of connection and substation location, and we integrated long-term strategy for landscape and ecology management at the site, identifying key habitats and species to protect important features and ensure a net gain in biodiversity.
The result? Planning permission, environmentally friendly design, and community satisfaction around this new solar park.
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