Concerns over wildlife impact, road safety and nearby power lines sink plans for solar farm

Uttlesford District Council was not convinced by the Pelham Spring scheme (pic Low Carbon)

So they can be stopped…
Plans for a solar farm to be built between Manuden and Berden, on the Essex-Hertfordshire border, have been blocked by Uttlesford District Council.
Low Carbon Solar Park 6 had applied to both East Herts and Uttlesford district councils for permission to develop its Pelham Spring solar park but failed to convince the latter authority, which on Monday, January 24, decided a raft of reasons made the plan unacceptable.
A critical report from UDC read: “Insufficient evidence has been submitted in support of the application to demonstrate that there would not be an unacceptable impact to protected species and their habitats.”
It continued: “Poor layout and position of solar panels in and around towers and below high-voltage overhead electricity lines would not enable appropriate access to important infrastructure.
“Insufficient information has been provided to demonstrate that the proposed highway works scheme is acceptable in terms of highway safety.”
The site lies just east of Pelham substation, with the developer proposing to connect the two via underground cables.
The issue might not yet be over, however. A Low Carbon 6 spokesman said: “We are disappointed by the refusal to approve the proposed Pelham Spring solar farm.
“We recognise that there are unique complexities associated with each of our projects, which we bear in mind throughout the planning process.
“We appreciate the diligent work of the case officers involved and we look forward to providing more information.
“Our ambition to bring carbon-neutral energy to communities across the country remains undimmed.”

  • To read the CPRE Essex policy statement on solar farms, click here