Longfield Solar Farm: Shapps gives go-ahead to vast scheme near Chelmsford

Hundreds of acres of Essex farmland are going to be covered with these (pic Low Carbon)

One of the largest solar farms in the country is to be built near Chelmsford.
Longfield Solar Farm will cover 940 acres of arable farmland between the planned Chelmsford Garden Village and Terling, having been granted development consent by Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero.
The decision followed an Examination in Public, the scheme having been treated as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), and was announced on Monday, June 26.
Mr Shapps said: “The UK already has enough solar power installed to power four million homes and this new development of Longfield, the UK’s largest-capacity consented solar farm, will help ensure we fully harness the power of the sun and boost our energy security.”
Paul Morrison, Planning Inspectorate chief executive, sang the praises of the NSIP system: “The Planning Inspectorate has now examined more than 100 Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects since the Planning Act 2008 process was introduced, ensuring local communities have had the opportunity of being involved in the examination of projects that may affect them.
“Local people, the local authority and other interested parties were able to participate in this examination.
“The Examining Authority listened and gave full consideration to all local views and the evidence gathered during the examination before making its recommendation to the Secretary of State.”
Under the current NSIP regime, the success rate of NSIP applications is 94 per cent… which arguably tells you all you need to know about NSIPs.

  • To read more about this scheme, click here