Plans to extend the solar PV phase of the £100 million Kettering Energy Park from 34 hectares to 49 hectares have been approved by Kettering Council.

Project developers First Renewables applied to increase the size of the solar farm by an additional 15 hectares in February this year and a report submitted by the development control manager recommended the plans be approved.

Kettering Council backed the planning committee’s report and on Tuesday granted planning permission despite opposition from both Burton Latimer Town Council and Finedon Parish Council which said the development would result in the loss of more open countryside.

Opposition was also raised by local residents who expressed concerns that wildlife would be impacted, however the planning committee viewed that the benefits and effects of the proposals outweighed the criticisms.

The Kettering Energy Park is a £100 million development combining various renewable and low carbon technologies established to provide locally generated power to Kettering and its surrounding areas.

As well as the approved solar development, an on-shore wind farm is to be constructed near Burton Wold and a new 90 acre low-carbon business park is also to be developed.