Plans submitted for Uppingham solar farm

Plans for a solar farm off Seaton Road, Uppingham, by Sirius SBC Renewables LLP. EMN-150826-161820001
Plans for a solar farm off Seaton Road, Uppingham, by Sirius SBC Renewables LLP. EMN-150826-161820001
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Plans to build a six hectare solar farm in Uppingham that could power more than 900 homes per year have been unveiled.

Sirius SBC Renewables LLP wants to install panels on land to the north of Seaton Road, between Hornbeam Lane and the sewage works.

A planning application has been submitted to Rutland County Council and a public exhibition was held earlier this year.

Sirius chief executive officer James Steynor said most people the firm had spoken to were in favour of the development. He added: “We had about 25 to 30 people at the public consultation. The town council seemed very supportive and everyone who submitted responses bar one was generally positive.

“You always have concerns about screening these things and making sure they are not eyesores. It’s a site very close to sewage works and is very easy to screen.

“It will continue to be grazed. I accept that they are not everyone’s cup of tea but they are totally silent and wildlife really does thrive because they are undisturbed for 25 years. It’s not going to be sprayed, just left to develop wildflowers and so on.”

One concern raised by a member of the public was possible glare from the panels. But Mr Steynor said they were designed to absorb light rather than reflect it. “There is no glint and glare issue,” he added.

If planning permission is granted, the firm hopes to start building the solar farm early next year.

Uppingham resident Martin McHugh contacted the Mercury about the plans. He said he was not against solar energy but believed solar farms should be built on brownfield sites. He said: “Something that surprises me is how many people are in the dark about the proposals.

“I am sure, if they knew, they would want to have their voice heard before it’s too late; as this development will change our town and likely set a precedent for future developments all around Rutland.”