Leeds city council is in the process of giving planning permission to a 7.2MW solar park in the south of Leeds.

The proposed 14-hectare installation is claimed to be the north of England’s largest solar development.

Ahead of full planning permission being granted, two issues were identified as obstacles affecting the scheme’s development. The first related to glint and glare concerns due to the proximity of Leeds Bradford International Airport. The second issue was raised by the Ramblers Association who expressed concerns over the visual impact of the proposed site.

According to the project developer Oakapple Renewable Energy both issues have now been resolved and full planning permission is expected to be granted early next week. Oakapple estimates that the proposed solar farm will generate 7,200MWh of clean electricity every year, saving 3.8 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere in the process.  

Andy Brearley, planning and design manager at Oakapple Renewable Energy said: “We are delighted with this decision and now look forward to delivering this project. Planning officers at Leeds city council have been very supportive of this scheme and keen to encourage this kind of development. This is a good decision for Oakapple and for the region.”

Oakapple Renewable Energy has been supported by Leeds planning consultancy Turley Associates in securing this permission.

John Brooks, a director in the Leeds office of Turley Associates who supported Oakapple’s application added: “This is a tremendously exciting and important decision for the Yorkshire region and has been welcomed by Leeds city council. Recent changes to planning policy encourage sustainable energy production and a diversification in the country’s energy supply. Hopefully, more solar farms and other new energy projects will follow in the north of England.”

Oakapple hopes to energise the Haigh Hall Farm solar array by spring 2014.