North Devon District Council has granted planning permission to an 8.2MW solar farm project that lies two kilometres from Exmoor National Park.

The project was submitted by Solihull-based developer juwi Renewable Energies, who worked closely with the national park before submitting proposals. The developer has committed to a series of land management proposals that will strongly enhance the local landscape as well as providing significant ecological benefits.

The project received no objections from the national park when it was submitted for planning, a fact that the company attributes to the extensive collaboration and communication with the national park.

As part of the project, juwi has committed to creating over 300 metres of Devon bank along a degraded field. In addition the developer will plant over one kilometre of new hedgerow alongside a wildflower meadow that will boost site biodiversity. The solar farm will be situated on low-grade agricultural land and sheep will continue to graze the site once the project is completed.

During the planning process, site surveys revealed an important archaeological discovery onsite which will be excluded from the development area.

Juwi estimates that the 8.3MW solar farm will generate over 8,000,000kWh of electricity every year, saving over 3,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum.

The company hopes to begin construction in July 2014 with a view to connecting to the grid in December 2014.