July 6, 2013

TGC Seek Permission for 8.3 MW Solar PV Farm Near Monksilver

TGC Renewables have just applied to West Somerset District Council for planning permission to install:

A PV solar farm on land at Aller Farm, East of Woodford and North of Monksilver, Williton, TA4 4HH, comprising 20.26 hectares of class 3b agricultural land. The purpose of the solar farm is to provide a clean, renewable and sustainable form of electricity which will help to meet the Government’s target of 20% renewables by 2020. It will generate and export 8.27 MWp to the grid each year which based on an average GB house hold consumption will power approximately 2,281 houses.

Hence Aller Farm has now been added to the "Planning Applications" section of our interactive map and list of large scale solar PV projects in South West England.

TGC say in their design and access statement that the land in question is "class 3b", but a quick inspection of the DEFRA Magic web site suggests that it has not as yet been surveyed for a Post 1988 Agricultural Land Classification grading, and as such is currently simply classified as "Grade 3 agricultural land". Since the differentiation between grade 3a and 3b seems to be about to become more significant for planning decisions on solar "farms" it seems to me this grey area should be clarified (at the developer's expense!) before a final decision is taken.

Not so many moons ago I used to live on the outskirts of Williton, and went walking and cycling through and around Aller Farm. When I have a spare moment or two I'll delve through my virtual photo album of the area, to see if that reveals any relevant information. By way of example here's Aller Farm in 2005:

Aller Farm in 2005

Aller Farm in 2005

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