New £11million solar farm planned near Royston

The Thrift Farm solar farm could look like this, another of Lightsource's farms

The Thrift Farm solar farm could look like this, another of Lightsource's farms - Credit: Archant

A NEW £11million solar farm is being planned near Royston.

Renewable energy firm Lightsource is proposing to construct the 22-hectare farm at Thrift Farm, near the A505 at Therfield. If built it would be able to provide power for just under 3,000 homes.

A planning application has yet to be submitted for the site, but a pre-planning consultation event is being held next week where residents of the area can voice their opinions.

The firm said Thrift Farm is “relatively flat, with good daylight access, and good screening by existing mature vegetation to the north of the site. The flat nature of the site is such that localised planting can work to screen the development from the surrounding footpath if necessary.”

Conor McGuigan, business development director at Lightsource, said: “When we develop a new solar farm, we are entering into an agreement with the landowner and council for a period of some 25 years. We are therefore required to demonstrate that we will treat both the land and our neighbours with due respect in order to gain planning permission.

“For this reason it is clearly in our own best interests to work with the council and address local concerns collectively.

“We take great care to make as little impact as possible during the construction phase, and put in place appropriate measures to encourage and protect local wildlife.”

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News of the proposed solar farm comes a week after plans for a similar development at Wisbridge Farm, near Barkway, were approved by North Herts District Council’s planning committee.

Campaigner Clive Porter led a campaign against the Wisbridge solar farm.

He said: “We need to get back to serious farming and have more land available for growing crops.”

The consultation evening will take place at Therfield Memorial Hall, Church Lane, Therfield on Thursday April 4. It will run from 4pm-8pm.