A new solar farm set to have an installed capacity of up to 50MW has been approved by Leeds City Council.

The Barnsdale solar energy park is being developed by Banks Renewables and is to be located between Kippax and Allerton Bywater. It will include solar panels covering an area of around 50 hectares of south-facing land and will be linked directly into the Ledston Primary electricity substation which sits to the south east of the site.

Work on the site is expected to begin early next year, with an ecology and biodiversity strategy to also be implemented that will include wildflower meadows, wetland habitat, native trees, scrub and hedgerow planting.

Over £800,000 of the revenues generated by the solar farm over its lifetime will be directed into a community fund to provide grants to support local community groups and voluntary organisations.

Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, said: “This project is located in the only site in Leeds suitable for this size and scale of solar energy development, and marks the latest stage of our continuing investment in Yorkshire, which has included the development of four onshore wind farms across the county, several residential property schemes and the opening of a new office to the north of Leeds just last year.”

The approval by Leeds City Council follows the application going in front of the planning committee on 10 June, having been recommended for approval earlier this month.