Lightsource Renewable Energy faces an uphill battle to win permission to build a 15MW solar farm in Essex in the face of local opposition.

Last week, an area planning committee at Maldon District Council recommended refusal for the proposal, which would have consisted of 59,796 PV panels on a 34-hectare site near the village of Little Braxted.

The committee said that the development would have a significant detrimental impact on the historic landscape and that Lightsource had failed to provide enough details with its application. The final decision will be made by the council’s full planning and licensing committee of the council next week.

A report that went before the area committee said: “Despite careful consideration…it is not possible to consider that the benefits of this renewable energy proposal will demonstrably outweigh the significant adverse impacts of the development upon this special and historic landscape and the setting of those local listed buildings of Little Braxted and the surrounding area.”

It went on to say that the application contained “inadequate information” relating to the impacts on the landscape, access during construction, local wildlife, sustainable drainage and glint affecting homes near to the application site, as well as potential adverse noise impacts.

In addition to the panels, the development would have seen 16 inverter cabins, nine transformer buildings, up to two switchgear substations, internal roadways, an earth bund, other landscaping, boundary security fencing and pole mounted security cameras.

The developers said the facility could have supplied electricity to up to 4,082 homes per year.

The council received 80 letters of objection to the proposals, with 11 in support.

The report said that Lightsource had indicated that a community fund might be offered to the local parish council, but that it was not possible to take this into consideration as part of the planning application process.

A statement from Lightsource said: “Lightsource will consider its next steps once a decision has been made by the planning and licensing committee.”