Anesco's Clayhill solar farm. Image: Anesco.
Anesco’s Clayhill solar farm. Image: Anesco.

The Secretary of State has refused planning permission for a 49MW solar farm to be situated in Northamptonshire.

The project, being developed by Anesco, would sit across 70 hectares of land near the villages of Gayton, Rothersthorpe and Milton Malsor.

According to documents dated 13 March 2024, the planning inspectorate had originally recommended that the appeal be allowed and planning permission be granted subject to conditions.

Simon Hoare MP, minister of state for local government on behalf of the secretary of state, however, refused the planning application for the solar farm, which also included the required substation, DNO control room, customer substation, security fencing and more.

The project was expected to bring a 195% biodiversity net gain, something the secretary of state noted should be afforded “significant weight”, but due to the change in landscape character and appearance, the impact it could have on heritage assets, and the effect it could have on agricultural land, the project was denied planning permission.

Image: Anesco.
Image of the proposed site. Image: Anesco.

EDF’s 49.9MW Northamptonshire solar farm

In July 2023, EDF Renewables received approval to develop its 49.9MW Glassthorpe solar farm in Northamptonshire.

Glassthorpe solar farm, which received unanimous approval from West Northamptonshire Council, will be located between the villages of Flore and Upper Heyford, along the M1 Corridor.

EDF Renewables said in a statement at the time that it expects construction to take around six months with hopes that the site would be fully operational by the end of 2024.

The solar farm’s connection to the grid will be made 8 kilometres east of the site at the Northampton West substation.

Solar Power Portal’s publisher Solar Media will host the UK Solar Summit on 4-5 June 2024 in London. The event will explore the UK’s new landscape for utility and rooftop solar, looking at the opportunities within a GW+ annual market and much more. For more information, go to the website.