Proposals outlined for solar farm on edge of South Downs National Park

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Proposals are being put forward to build a solar farm on the edge of the South Downs National Park.

Energy company Valencia are currently seeking planning permission to build the solar farm on a restored landfill site at Small Dole south of Henfield.

Valencia operates more than 40 operational and restored sites where landfill gas is collected and used as a fuel to generate low carbon, renewable energy.

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It wants to develop the Small Dole site as part of rolling programme of solar developments throughout the UK. Agents for the company – Innov8Planning – in a statement accompanying Valencia’s planning application to Horsham District Council, say: “The site is not located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or an Area of High Landscape Value. However, the site is location close to the South Downs National Park boundary.”

The site of the proposed new solar farm at Small DoleThe site of the proposed new solar farm at Small Dole
The site of the proposed new solar farm at Small Dole

It says the restored landfill site “is of little value and benefits from an existing grid connection with capacity, therefore this application represents an ideal opportunity to develop solar panels.”

The construction of the solar farm is expected to last around three months and employ up to 10 staff over the construction period, if approval is granted. It would have a lifespan of 40 years.

The solar farm, say the agents, would cover an area of around 36 acres and would have an electrical generating capacity of about 12.5 MW – enough to power 3,500 houses and saving 120,000 tonnes of C02 over its lifespan.

They add: “By its very nature developments that provide renewable energy reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that is emitted into the atmosphere by offsetting the need to burn fossil fuel.”

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