Kent-based solar developer, Countryside Renewables has won planning permission for a 5MW solar farm in Lincolnshire.

The project, located close to Grantham, was approved by 12 out of 14 members of the South Kesteven District Council Planning Committee.

The solar farm is predicted to generate enough electricity to power 1,240 local homes, negating the emission of 65,000 tonnes over the project’s 30-year lifetime. Importantly, the solar farm is expected to bring in £20,000 per year in business rate payments for the local council, resulting in more than £600,000 of extra revenue for the council over the project’s lifetime.

Denis Gross, partner at Countryside Renewables, said that the company had designed the scheme to have minimal visual impact on the local area. He said: “Only 1% of the land will be pierced by the pile-driven posts and no concrete footings will be used.

“It will provide biodiversity enhancements to the land by offering a greater variety of habitat to flora and fauna. This is particularly important to Lincolnshire, which the Environment Agency and others say has experienced more significant loss of biodiversity than much of the UK.”

Defra ministers have expressed concerns that solar farms are damaging the UK’s agricultural output despite evidence to the contrary. Jeff Thompson, the landowner of the proposed solar farm, said that the scheme “puts the field into productive use as I have never known a good crop on this field”.

Thompson continued: “I also welcome the project from a farm business diversification perspective, with the chance to continue to use the field for sheep grazing.” According to the developer, the 25-acres of grade 3b land represents around 0.0021% of agricultural land in Lincolnshire.