The first of six planning roadshows hosted by the National Solar Centre and supported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change took place in York today.  

The seminars have been put on by the NSC and DECC to explain the new solar planning guidelines to local planning officials.

Topics discussed included:

  • The Solar Industry presented by Ray Noble (joint chair of DECC Solar Strategy Committee)
  • The Planning Guide presented by Barry Marsh (National Solar Centre director)
  • Land Management and Biodiversity, speaker to be announced
  • Discussion time chaired by a representative from DECC

Ray Noble told Solar Power Portal that, while York is not a particularly advanced area for large ground-mount solar installations, the level of interest and discussions were clearly focused around it being a growing market, even in the North.

Questions raised by those in attendance to day ranged from end of planning life considerations for solar farms and the need for Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) to general technical questions such as grid connections and module support techniques.

The next roadshow will take place in Huntingdon on Friday. Full details of the remaining seminars can be found below:

  • Huntingdon Racecourse, 22 November
  • Wincanton Racecourse, 25 November
  • Sandown Racecourse, 2 December
  • Chester Racecourse, 9 December
  • Exeter Racecourse, 10 December

The seminars, for planning officials, are free to attend for but the organisers have warned that places are limited, making pre-booking essential. Below are the confirmed dates and venues for each of the roadshows:

Further details and online booking can be found here.