Solar park planned on 40-acre site near Thurlby

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A renewable energy company has made inquiries about building a solar park which could power up to 3,000 homes a year.

Plans for a 40-acre solar park development have been revealed by Hive Energy for an agricultural field at Manthorpe Farm in Swallow Hill, near Thurlby, about 800 metres north east of Manthorpe.

The panels would be connected to the National Grid and generate between 6-7MW of energy per year.

Senior environmental planner Peta Donkin from planning company Pegasus Group, acting on behalf Hive Energy, said: “We feel it is a very good site.

“We are entering a time when energy is becoming expensive and in higher demand but we want to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

“Solar is a very efficient way of doing this and is a very passive way of achieving energy generation.”

Pegasus Group has submitted a screening opinion pre-planning application to South Kesteven District Council.

Applicants are given feedback about the feasibility of their projects and what is required for a full planning application, including whether an environment impact assessment is required.

The Manor Farm site is on a south-west facing slope on a 15 metre incline.

The panels will be no higher than 2.4m and the hedgerow which surrounds field will be maintained and thickened.

Miss Donkin said as well as producing renewable energy there would be environmental benefits to the project with trees being planted and owl boxes and perching posts installed to improve conditions for wildlife.

A response to the screening opinion is expected by the end of the month.

Last month a solar farm at Limes Farm in Spalding Road, Bourne, which is now one of the largest solar farms in the country, with 20,000 5.6MWp solar panels across 30 acres, was plugged into the National Grid by developers Lark Energy.