A range of specialist consultants have undertaken surveys to aid in the design process and to ensure the site is appropriate for development.
Ecology: Specialist species surveys and biodiversity net gain assessments were undertaken. Significant gain in biodiversity by incorporation of new planting and valuable new habitats. Pre-construction and construction mitigation and management proposed to ensure there is no harm to species on site.
Cultural Heritage and Archaeology: Our specialists have carried out cultural heritage assessments, considering the potential for both buried archaeology on site and inter- relationships with nearby above ground heritage assets.
The village of Newbold Pacey is a conservation area and contains several listed buildings. Our heritage assessment completed by 3rd party consultants concluded that due to the buffer, strong screening between the site and the settlement, and the proposed additional planting the project had low level impact on the conservation area.
Desk based assessment and geophysical surveys identified features of archaeological interest within the site’s development area. An historic multi-phase building was identified in the field nearest the Newbold Pacey. To minimise the development impact on these assets, solar panels were removed and a 10m buffer has been implemented
Landscape and Visuals: The site is visible from the B4087 and some nearby dwellings. The proposed additional planted has been designed in such a way to help screen views of the development
Arboriculture: The trees on site will have protection applied during construction. Root protection zones will be observed and specialist excavation techniques will be utilised around root zones.
Highways: Vehicle routes and site access points have been agreed with highway authorities and a construction traffic management plan was approved as part of the planning application.
Hydrology: Flood risk assessment and surface water management plan deemed the amount of impermeable surface added to the site is negligible. There is no increase in risk of flooding or surface run off from the development.
Agricultural Land Classification: An assessment of the Agricultural Land Classification assessment has been undertaken and shows 31% of the site is situated on BMV (best most versatile land) and the majority of the site being grade 3b. This piece of Elms farm is currently intensively growing cereal crops, the solar farm will allow the land to be taken out of production and allowed to rest.
There should be no long term affect to soil quality because of the solar farm construction. Current research indicates that across the lifetime of a solar farm soil quality can actually improve so when it returns to agricultural use it would be in better condition than before.