British Solar Renewables (BSR) has received planning consent for a 28MW solar project based in Hampshire.
Situated near Preston Candover, the project will integrate a 28MWp solar PV array and add to the solar developer’s portfolio of over 700MW successfully developed solar assets. This is in addition to an initial 1GW PV development pipeline across the UK and Australia.
“This consent comes at a significant moment for BSR, as we move towards the delivery of our ambitious growth plan and 1GW delivery pipeline,” said Tim Humpage, CEO of British Solar Renewables.
“We are delighted that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council recognises that urgent action needs to be taken to address climate change. It is well-considered projects like Preston Farm Solar Park and those that will follow it, which will be critical to ensuring energy security and achieving the UK’s commitment to a net zero future.”
BSR recently gained a boost to its growth opportunities with the company having been acquired by global alternative asset manager ICG’s debut infrastructure fund, ICG Infra.
The solar company stated that it was necessary to be acquired in order to fulfil its potential as a global owner of renewable assets, with the company having been self-funded from a development perspective.
A key aspect of the Preston Farm Solar Park is that it will have a significant positive impact on its local environment, delivering biodiversity net gains of 80% in habitat and 39% hedgerow, according to BSR.
In addition, it is anticipated that the business rate contribution will exceed £65,000 in the first year of operation.
“This planning approval substantiates our client-focused approach in ensuring that British Solar Renewables were provided with the best strategy advice to secure the most efficient and effective planning permission,” said Dale Greetham, associate director of the planning consultants RSK ADAS.
“This project included resolving an archaeology issue through undertaking the appropriate technical assessments and by making proportionate amendments to the Proposed Site Layout. We also ensured the optimum boundary treatment solution (where required) by undertaking site photomontages and producing a tailored and bespoke Landscape Masterplan.
“This permission is also very much thanks to our environmental colleagues across ADAS / the wider RSK Group who have worked hard alongside our client British Solar Renewables to ensure that this project was approved in a timely manner by delegated authority.”
The archaeological perspective in question was carried out prior to approval. From November 2021, when the application was submitted, the applicant was able to carry out further archaeological work at the recommendation of the council and amend the site layout in order to avoid possible artefacts.
In late 2021, BSR received planning consent for its 49.9MW Fambridge Solar Park, which will include a 25MW battery facility to complement the renewable energy generated.
Rochford District Council unanimously approved the project, which will sit on Green Belt land at South Fambridge, Essex.