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In Planning

Solar and Energy Storage

Blythe Solar Farm

11,975
Homes Powered
9,125
Tonnes of Carbon Saved Annually
45MW
Solar Capacity
30MW
BESS Capacity
64
Hectares of Land

Introduction

Innova Renewables Developments are planning to develop, construct, and operate a new solar array and energy storage system located on Upper Newton Farm, Draycott Road, Upper Tean, Staffordshire.  

The site is located to the south west of the A50 trunk road and to the north east of the Derby to Crewe railway line. Blythe Solar Farm has the ability to generate up to 27.7 MW of solar energy and store 30MW, which is enough to power 7,100 homes in the Staffordshire Moorlands District annually.  

During the course of the successfully consented Blythe Solar Farm, both the Council’s landscape consultant and members of the planning committee commented on how visually contained parts of the site were, including the adjacent larger southern fields. In the interest of optimising suitable areas of land for renewable energy generation, whilst minimising any impact, it is considered that there is a suitable opportunity to deliver a small expansion to the approved project for additional solar panels.    

The 17.6MWp solar extension would result in the entire scheme being a 45MW solar site and 30MW energy storage development. The entire site would be able to power 11,775 homes in the district each year, and prevent 9,125 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.   

The previous permission for the Blythe Solar Farm was approved by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council in February 2023. The planning application can be viewed via this link , using the reference number SMD/2022/0160.   

Blythe Solar Farm Extension has been submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and can be viewed via this link , using the reference number SMD/2023/0594.    

Why do we want to develop here?

The UK has committed to becoming Net Zero by 2050 and a target to decarbonise the electricity grid by 2035. The proposed development would support the UK’s transition to Net Zero and increase the use of renewable energy through supporting the availability of energy to the National Grid. 

Blythe Solar Farm has been carefully selected through a detailed assessment process considering grid availability, heritage, landscape and amenity, ecology and environmental designations, access, and agricultural land quality.  We have engaged a team of expert consultants to provide advice on the project.  

Through the extension proposal, it is proposed to  relocated the approved substation next to the existing OHL to concentrate the electrical infrastructure to a small area, deliver more suitable screening by the topography, allow for a more efficient grid connection, and allow for a modest increase in solar panels to the previously approved solar farm, providing additional public benefits over and above what will already be delivered.   

Environmental Benefits

The UK has committed to becoming Net Zero by 2050 and a target to decarbonise the electricity grid by 2035. This requires an extra 3GW of solar to be built each year. Renewable energy developments like Blythe Solar Farm are a key part of addressing the Climate Emergency. The development will serve a key role in this vital transition to renewable energy. 

Staffordshire Moorlands Council declared a climate emergency on 10th July 2019 and Staffordshire County Council declared a climate emergency on 25th July 2019. 

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Current planning process status

01

Completed

Community Consultation Event

Public consultations were held on 23rd November 2021, 4th March 2022, and 3rd August 2023.

02

Completed

Revise Proposals

The proposals were revised following feedback from the local community during the community consultation events.

03

Completed

Application Submitted

The previous permission for the Blythe Solar Farm was approved by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council in February 2023. Blythe Solar Farm Extension has been submitted to Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.

04

In Progress

Application Consultation

Blythe Solar Farm Extension planning application is currently being reviewed by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.

05

TBC

Decision on Application

Information regarding the decision on our planning application will be shared here in due course.

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The Location

Blythe Solar Farm will be located 13km south east of Stoke on Trent and 10.5km north west of Uttoxeter and near Draycott in the Moors and Tean.  

The site is to the south west of the A50 trunk road and the north east of the Derby to Crewe railway line. 

The site has been carefully selected and designed through a detailed assessment process considering grid availability, heritage, landscape and amenity, ecology and environmental designations, access, and agricultural land quality.  We have engaged a team of expert consultants to provide advice on the project.  

Through the extension proposal, it is proposed to  relocated the approved substation next to the existing OHL to concentrate the electrical infrastructure to a small area, deliver more suitable screening by the topography, allow for a more efficient grid connection, and allow for a modest increase in solar panels to the previously approved solar farm, providing additional public benefits over and above what will already be delivered.   

Construction Information

The majority of vehicular movements associated with the development will occur during the construction phase, which is expected to take a maximum of 16 weeks. A temporary construction compound will be created towards the north-western boundary of the site. 

The extension would be constructed at the same time as the consented solar and energy storage development, using the same construction compound and access route. 

Once the site has been completed and is operational, there will be one to two visits a month for routine maintenance. 

 

Access Information

Construction vehicles will access the site from the A50 and join the A521 at the Tean Roundabout. From here, they will travel southwards along the A521 /Uttoxeter Road before turning right on to the farm access that currently serves Lower and Upper Newton Farms. 

 

Cable Route

The site will connect to the overhead line that is within the development area. 

Specialist Environmental Surveys

A range of specialist consultants have undertaken surveys to aid in the design process and to ensure the site is appropriate for development. The following surveys have been undertaken:

  • Flood Risk Assessment  
  • Agriculture Land Classification  
  • Construction Traffic Management Plan  
  • Landscape and Visual Assessment  
  • Historic Environment Desk-Based Assessment  
  • Geophysical Survey   
  • Preliminary Ecological Appraisal  
  • Wintering Bird Survey  
  • Ecological Impact Assessment  
  • Arboriculture Assessment  
  • Noise Assessment  

These surveys have been submitted as part of the planning application, and can be viewed on the planning portal.