Solar farm could come to St Ives

10:00 17 December 2013

Solar panel.

Solar panel.

Archant

Farmland north of St Ives could become home to more than 45,000 solar panels.

Street Energy Limited has a two-phase plan for Wiggin Hill Farm, off Old Ramsey Road and already has planning permission for 28,704 panels.

The Kettering-based company has submitted another application for a further 16,572 at the farm, enough to power about 1,100 homes.

It is estimated that the two phases combined could produce enough energy for 2,900 homes.

The latest proposal currently being considered by Huntingdonshire District Council’s planners is for a 7.3-hectare, or 18-acre, site between St Ives, Woodhurst and RAF Wyton.

A planning statement says the panels would be laid out in 47 rows, mounted on steel frames.

Construction would take seven weeks, the document states, and includes putting up a 2.2-metre security fence around site.

Trees are to be planted to screen the panels from view. The solar farm is expected to remain in place for 25 years, after which the land will be returned to agricultural use.

St Ives Town Council has recommended approval, subject to the same conditions to the first phase, such as not disturbing nesting birds while the panels are installed.

HDC approved the first application in February, saying that renewable energy is generally encouraged and the solar farm would not have a significant adverse impact on the character of the landscape.

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