The plans include construction proposals for two bridleways that would provide safer off-road routes for locals. Image: RES.

The renewables developer, Renewable Energy Systems (RES), has submitted plans for the approval of a 49.9MW solar farm in Longhedge, between the villages of Thoroton and Hawksworth, Nottinghamshire.

RES have said that the plans underwent a detailed design process by taking into account results from tests and surveys of the site, as well as involving the community and stakeholders in the planning process. As a result of feedback during planning, RES reported a number of changes including “reductions to the number and height of the panels, to ensure the solar farm fits sensitively into the existing landscape whilst maximising the low carbon, cheap electricity generation.”

The plans also include recreational benefits through the creation two permissive bridleways. One bridleway would be built to the west of the site, beginning at the village of Hawksworth, and would provide a safe off-road route by connecting with the existing bridleway situated to the north of the site. The other is set to run along the site’s eastern side, towards Thoroton village where it would connect with the existing Public Right of Way.

The developer added that a biodiversity management plan will be implemented if the plans are accepted. These include planting trees native to the area, more than 2.5km of hedgerows as well as the installation of a number of wildlife houses such as bird and bat boxes, reptile hibernacula and additional bee banks.

In response to the announcement Claire Chamberlain, development project manager at RES, said: “Solar projects like Longhedge are quick to deploy, enable more energy to be generated domestically improving security of supply and contribute to Net Zero targets. They are also the cheapest form of new electricity generation, alongside onshore and offshore wind.

“This proposal supports Rushcliffe Borough Council’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2030 and will contribute to the local economy by providing an estimated £164,000 in business rates annually to help fund vital local services.”

During its 40-year term RES has delivered 23GW of renewable energy products globally. The organisation is set to add to its growing portfolio with project such as The Spennymoor Energy Storage System.