Renewable energy developer BE Renewables is to appeal after its plans for a 10MW solar farm in Llanmartin, Newport were refused by Newport County Council.

BE Renewables had proposed to construct the solar farm on farmland near Court Farm and was attempting to secure planning permission for a second time after originally being denied in October last year.

However, at a planning committee meeting held on 1 April, Newport County Council blocked the development claiming that its benefits were not great enough considering the loss of agricultural land for the site’s estimated 25-year lifetime, noting that it was contrary to national policy.

The council also said that BE Renewables had failed to demonstrate an “overriding need” for the site to be given the green light.

The six-person planning board voted four to two against the proposals despite a Newport planning officer recommending that permission be granted pending certain conditions last month.

The planning officer recommended the site pending the company meet various environmental controls and restored the site within 12 months of the end of its lifecycle, and that a traffic management plan was put into place prior to the start of construction.

In a statement, BE Renewables business development manager, James Ayres confirmed the company would be appealing the decision and said it was a “surprising decision” for the council to reach considering the support the project had received.